Breathing deeply can make you relax. But did you know that it can make stronger, build more muscle, improve your mobility, as well as give you a better workout?
How to do it:
In order to breathe deeply and get all the benefits, you need to include your diaphragm. Not just expand your chest.
Lay on your back. Knees bent, feet flat. Place an object such as your phone on your belly button area. Concentrate on sucking in, and filling up your lower stomach with air. Watch the phone rise up. Once you get proficient, try to only inhale and exhale through your nose.
When you have mastered this try this standing up. Place your hands around your waist, and expand them. Push your stomach out against your hands by filling your diaphragm with air.
How it works:
Think about what happens when you inhale deeply. We are talking a very big breath. Then exhale. Try it. Do you notice how your chest and upper bak rise up. Its hard to slouch with a full deep breath of air held in your lungs.
What is actually happening is that by breathing deeply you are moving your Thoracic Spine. It is getting mobilized. This will help you have better posture and lessen the risk of injury due to bad form.
Another interesting benefit from breathing deeply, is what it subconsciously does for your nervous system and digestion.
Simply put, breathing deeply using your diaphragm, activates your sympathetic nervous system. Doing this before a workout turns your body "ON" or often termed the fight or flight response.
After your workout, breathing deeply using your diaphragm, activates your parasympathetic nervous system. This turns your body "OFF" or what is often termed called the rest and digest system.
There it is! Simply by spending 2-5 minutes before and after your workout breathing deeply you can optimize your workout. Enjoy!