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2 Breathing Methods For Abs Strength Without Doing Crunches

Core strength is essential for all your movements — it's, after all, your center — and it has the big task of keeping you upright.

2 Breathing Methods For Abs Strength Without Doing Crunches

Core strength is essential for all your movements — it's, after all, your center — and it has the big task of keeping you upright. And while you might choose to knock out some crunches or sweat to work for the muscle group through an ab-quaking plank series, you could also do some core strength breathing exercises that involve practically zero movements at all.

The Key to it? Engaging in diaphragmatic, abdominal breaths. "Unlike shallow breathing, when only your chest and shoulders move with each inhalation, with deep, diaphragm-like breathing, your torso and ribcage expand forward, backward and to the sides, you eccentrically lengthen the transverse abdominal muscles and obliques every time you get in the air," says Daria Einhorn, a Pilates instructor and exercise corrective specialist. She explains that these deep breaths lengthen the muscles in your transverse abdonimis and your obliques, which ensures that each time you inhale, you strengthen your deep and side-core muscles.

In comparison to the normal breathing habits, "we need to concentrate on deep, absolute, and complete in and out breaths," says Einhorn. Rather than inhaling only to the chest and neck (which is what happens when most of us frequently breathe), the rib cage, abdomen, and diaphragm will work together to transfer air into and out of the lungs. That tones your abs, in turn.

"Partners of the diaphragm are deep abdominal muscles, and they lengthen on inhalation first, then contract on exhale as the diaphragm relaxes," she says. "If you get your entire abdominal wall properly expanded, you will be able to maintain some core tension through an exercise while breathing for both inhalation and exhalation." It will also help protect your spine, pelvic floor, and lower back.

The goal, Einhorn notes, is to do as much diaphragmatic breathing as possible. Evidence has shown that, in addition to strengthening your heart, this form of deep breathing relaxes your mind, body, and reduces stress levels, which is all the more reason to do it daily.

Breathing Exercises To Achieve Core Strength

Einhorn says there are two ways to participate in this form of respiratory ab-strengthening:

  1. Lie down with your legs bent over your back and your feet flat on the floor. Place both hands at the outside of your ribcage where your lower bra line is positioned. Slowly breathe in through the nose, feeling your ribs expand beneath your hands as you press the back ribs into the floor. Note that your shoulders are going up towards the ears — they shouldn't — or that only your belly or chest is growing up. Then exhale through your mouth as you blow up a balloon, or exhale through a straw, feeling the abdominal muscles tightening and pulling in gently. Complete 5 such breath cycles.
  2. Sit on a bolster or blanket comfortably, so your hips are higher than your knees. Wrap your ribs with a yoga bag or scarf. Inhale through the nose, and let the strap get tight throughout. Exhale as you blow up a balloon or exhale through a straw through your mouth, and feel the strap loosened around your ribs with the goal of losing it completely. Feel your abs softly contracting, and move your navel towards the spine. Full five breath cycles of your body.

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YourFitnessRink - Fitness and Health Matters: 2 Breathing Methods For Abs Strength Without Doing Crunches
2 Breathing Methods For Abs Strength Without Doing Crunches
Core strength is essential for all your movements — it's, after all, your center — and it has the big task of keeping you upright.
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