If you look close enough, you can always identify subtle difference when comparing the average person to the above average athlete. Things that you might not pick up unless you know exactly where to look. For example, above average athletes will more than likely have better posture than the average person. These athletes will most likely have an incredibly strong posterior chains relative to the average person. And these athletes will most likely be stomach breathers versus chest breathers.
Breathing through your stomach has distinct advantages over chest breathing in sport and life in general. The benefits of breathing through your stomach (technically your diaphragm), includes:
- Increased blood flow in your chest
- Greater transfer of oxygen into the lungs
- Increased lung capacity
- Increased stamina
- Increased lymph flow (improved immune system)
All those above benefits seem pretty awesome if you have any interest in improving your overall health and fitness. Not too mention, breathing through your diaphragm is absolutely necessary when lifting heavy weights because it increases your intra-abdominal pressure, helping to stabilize your spine. (Aka the Valsalva maneuver, discussed in this earlier post).
If you are interested in learning how to breath correctly and how to apply it to your lifts, come check out the Mid-Line Strength & Stability Clinic this Saturday! This will be one of the many things I hope to cover during the hour long clinic.