Mark Reifkind: Diaphragmatic Breathing

Breathing is simple. Right?
But, what if your aren’t doing it correctly . . . 23,000 times each day? Mark Reifkind explains the importance of diaphragmatic breathing and describes the physical toll that chest breathing can take on your body.

Excerpted from Mark Reifkind’s  Body Maintenance workshop

That is what we call diaphragmatic breathing. It’s crucial.

Why is it crucial?

The diaphragm is like a big, thick umbrella that covers your guts. When you inhale through your nose and you correctly diaphragmatically breathe, it compresses the internal organs. It also creates a vacuum that sucks in air.

If you are a chest breather and you take a big breath, you raise your ribs off of your lungs. That gives you about the top third of your lungs full of air.

Which means that you are missing two thirds of your lungs worth of air.

Do you know how many breaths the average person takes each day?

23,000 breaths.

How does that break down? The average person takes:
16 breaths per minute,
720 breaths per hour,
23,000 breaths per day.

Which means you are doing 23,000 shrugs per day if you are a chest breather.

Is it any wonder why your neck and traps are tight . . . why you have headaches and you’re not getting enough oxygen.

This is particularly true with females; it is almost impossible to get girls to stick out their stomachs.

Breathe out. Breathe in. Stick out your stomach.
I am!
No, You’re not. Stick out your stomach.
I am!
No, You’re not. Stick out your stomach.

They won’t stick their stomach out. I’m serious. It’s funny . . .  but it’s true. There is a cultural stigma against women sticking their stomachs out. Even at home with the doors locked and nobody watching, they still won’t do it. Because, God forbid, it could actually stay like that, then everybody would think that they are fat.

I’m making fun, but it’s important because chest breathing is the equivalent of using your arms to make your legs walk. It’s using your traps to lift your ribs off of your lungs.

It’s not how you are built to breathe.

If you cannot breathe correctly, you cannot stretch correctly.
If you cannot breathe correctly, you cannot be strong.

Interested in more from Mark’s Body Maintenance workshop?
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Mark Reifkind Body Maintenance Workshop