Why Breathing Should be Your First Focus When Working out.
Diaphragm’s primary function is to be our breathing muscle, but it also is active in maintaining posture and core stability as part of our inner torso unit. (Diaphragm, pelvic floor muscles, Transverse abdominus, and multifidus)
We can survive several weeks without food and several days without water, but we cannot survive more than minutes without air. The critical nature of breathing can no
The difference between breathing and respiration; breathing is the physical act of moving air in and out of the lungs while respiration has two aspects: physiologically by transferring gas in lungs and cellular by producing energy in the cell components (mitochondria)
Diaphragmatic breathing is a key concept and tool for improving movement. Why?
Anatomically – breathing is when extension occurs with inhalation and flexion of the thoracic occurs with exhalation. Used with stretching – exhale used to enhance the relaxation into a stretch.
Whereas biomechanical breathing, those roles are switched. Inhalation to increase the intra-abdominal pressure during flexion and exhalation to improve muscular action and stability during extension. Biomechanical breathing is used to help us handle loads through the body during performance. It amps up our strength and stability.
Try it with a deadlift, KB swing, or military press
BIOMECHANICAL – aspect of breathing/respiration is about gas exchange. Getting oxygen in and carbon dioxide out to maintain and O2/CO2 balance in the blood/body. This occurs at a cellular level in which O2 is used in producing ATP which is responsible for generating energy for our muscles.
Determined by the blood levels.
PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL – breathing is part of the autonomic nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic). Most of the ANS functions are beyond our control, but with breathing we can “control” it to an extent.
Understanding the implications of breathing, moving poorly does not mean you have “dysfunctional breathing”, also visa versa. Although the relationship is quite strong.
Say 'goodbye' to spending hours at the gym!
Sometimes the removal is the addition that you need to meet and acquire your goals. We live in a society that is cluttered with constant stimulants or items that are labeled as the ‘the next big thing’ in which we all fall into that rabbit hole of consumption and wants. Which then creates further separation from our foundational makeup. How many times have you heard a coach tell a player to focus on the fundamentals? They are saying this because it is the fundamentals that are the building blocks for success in that sport’s skill. Without the fundamentals your skill level will decline. Same concept goes to your own body and how it moves. Many workout regimens and programs ignore our fundamentals and just build on what that trainer wants you do to, or what you think you want to do because obviously ever since the invention of YouTube, we all are apparently experts at everything.
To help exemplify the importance of understanding your fundamentals, I am going to relate to nearly a whopping 70% of Americans: so let’s talk about Smartphones! You walk into that hip modern Apple Store and get yourself the iPhone! For many what seems to be just days or maybe minutes, your 32 gig. iPhone is at its full capacity due to the eighty-five Apps that you apparently “need” to get through the day. I am pretty sure having two Weather apps, an additional GPS app, three different Instant messaging apps, and five gaming apps are highly unnecessary, but majority of us want to possess such items. Why? Because we yearn to have “trendy” items. Don’t worry, I am a victim to such. In fact, I just looked at my phone and I have six apps for instant messaging! Confession: within each app, I am talking to the same five people. #Unnecessary. #Ridiculous.
If we think about it, 32 gigabytes is actually a lot of space, but if we fill that space with junk or non-sensible items then we reach limitations faster and therefore perceive inferiority with our device since the phone can no longer work sufficiently due to slower speeds. So what we do next? We go out and spend more money on the larger capacity iPhone….yup! And you guessed it….just so we can do the same exact thing to that phone and reach its limitations once again.
Let’s look at this analogy from a different perspective: if that 32 gig phone is the only phone available some will understand that necessity and have the desire for longevity and durability for their device. Therefore, apps will be downloaded just out of necessity and functionality. Let’s mirror this example to our own selves: we are only given one body in which each person has their own level of capacity. Strictly focusing on just our health and fitness approaches, majority of Americans want to add and do the “latest and greatest” exercises or programs out there, which will only clutter and create inefficiency in long-term fitness and health acquisition. This is why America is still the most obese country despite all the resources we are exposed to regarding health and fitness. We are so riddled and overwhelmed with information and ideas that are not necessarily accurate and or appropriate for your needs, but yet many buy into the trend or statement hoping it will be their “answer”. We all know there isn’t a one-size-fits all program for weight loss or improving body composition. However, by addressing and acknowledge your own movement makeup and profile, that program will be your answer. By addressing and focusing strictly on our foundation and fundamentals of movement when exercising, you will begin to notice an improvement in your health and fitness. Fundamental and functional training eliminates the “clutter” and removes any faulty approaches to training your body. Appropriate providers will help find and identify your movement dysfunctions, then will proceed to eliminate the external factors that have hindered your fitness progress, then rebuild and re-introduce the more appropriate exercises for your own needs. Therefore, by keeping your training philosophy more simplistic will lead to greater success not just in the short term but also in the long term!
Want to learn more, please visit SportsFXN.com to get advice and experience a training program that will address your own specific physical needs and capacities so you can reach your optimal level of health and fitness!
CREATING INDEPENDENCE: Know the 'whys' and 'hows' of your training so you can be equipped for life.
Is your workout regime creating independence? Are you gaining control of the ‘whys’ and ‘how’s’ of exercise, empowering you the ability to replicate it months or even years down the road? Many times majority of workout routines and/or personal trainers fail to guide their clients on a path of health and fitness education. Those that are educated properly will start to comprehend the purpose behind what it is that they are doing; hence, creating independence for that client. It is nice to have guidance, but to be dependent on one person or one program for the rest of your life is unrealistic and non-productive in the long run. One of the top reasons our general health and fitness industry isn’t producing a healthy America because we are giving people fish instead of teaching them how to fish: we are not creating independent clients who are educated with the “whys” and the “how’s” of their fitness workouts.
SportsFXN’s training program is to help bridge that gap between the client and the workouts through educating not just your mind but your body as well. One of the best ways to keep people engaged and motivated through a workout is by constantly challenging their physiology in such a way that our brain can comprehend what is it being asked of as well as WANT to continue with that process. Lack of education is where failure happens; that client wants to give up, because the workouts are either 1. Too hard or 2. Too easy. As many of us learned at such a young age it is the porridge that is “just right” is the one that is chosen. If it is too hot or too cold, we are left starved, deprived of the sustenance and sustainability to propel us to a life of health and wellness. SportsFXN’s main goal is to create a client who becomes independent; educated and takes back control of their health and fitness for not just the now but for the many years to come.
Functional approaches as opposed to the traditional anatomical methods of training poses extensive discussions within the fitness world. Many individuals lack the underlining difference between these two training methods. Let us take it back to basics and go over the actual definitions of each term. ‘Function’, when utilized in its biological sense, is when the object occurs in a system that evolved through a process of natural selection. In other words, ‘function’ is the forward processing resulting from a chain of sequenced events to reach a goal or be successful at a task. On the other hand, the biological term ‘anatomy’, is the structural makeup of an organism by separating the parts of that organism in order to ascertain their position, relations, structure, and function. Anatomy is the part of the sum, whereas Function is the sum of the parts.
Taking these two methods under the same roof of a gym the conversation of athlete demonstrating the anatomical approach of training would say something along the lines of, “today is back and arms day”. Majority of the exercises will focus on movement through one joint of the body. Whereas another athlete that will be utilizing a functional approach to their training, that conversation would sound like, “today I am working on hip hinge with shoulder and trunk stability”. These exercises demonstrate movements of multiple joints, arms, core, pelvis, and legs simultaneously and in a sequenced fashion. The “sum of the parts”.
Athletes or active individuals training to maintain a level of fitness that is utilized in organized sports, or multifaceted events such as a triathlons, CrossFit competitions, and/or road and trail races, the one thing that is required for success involves an appropriate coordination of movements. Let us break it down even further: take the average adult, their daily most simplistic movement is walking. This is when one leg moves forward as the opposite arm moves backwards, all while our core and trunk maintains stability to allow coordination of that movement followed by a smooth transition into the next step. Providing evidence that naturally our bodies are meant to move as a sum of it’s parts, and not just one part at a time. Solely this is the reason why I train functionally due to it enabling myself and my clients to perform not only our athletic activities more proficiently but even our daily tasks of walking, running, going up and down stairs, to carrying groceries, will be much easier and decrease any chances of injury.
Functional training is best understood and delivered by someone who is FMS certified. Check your local area for such a trainer, or please feel free to visit my website www.sportsfxn.com for further information.
The return to play or your activity should not be based on the absence of pain, but the presence and return of function and full range of motion. Something as innocent as suffering from a slight ankle injury that was “ignored” or wasn’t properly taken care of could likely result in more devastating or debilitating ailments several months to years down the road. Unknowingly, most of our population thinks if there is no pain, then the area is fixed. When in actuality, if there is restoration of optimal function and range of motion to that area, then it is fixed.
Let’s take a closer look at what I mean: If we sprain our ankle. What happens? It swells, it hurts, it is stiff, some time we can’t walk on it. But then after days or weeks, the swelling decreases, we get some mobility back, and that pain is gone! Looking at our anatomy in conjunction with human kinetics, if our ankle does not have the proper functional mobility, then the forces placed into our bodies when we run, jump, sprint, side-step, will start to hammer away at other areas of our body. So to our weekend warriors and avid athletes when we finally have no pain from that injured ankle, we go back full fledge to our beloved activities! More times than not, we are lucky enough to not feel any “aftermaths” from that ankle injury, so we play and play and play…and play. Until, let’s say, several months or even a year or two later, our weekend warrior starts to develop low back pain, without even “doing anything to it”! Lack of ankle mobility causes our glutes to not activate properly, resulting in instability of our pelvis and low back. Unstable areas causes surrounding muscles to spasm erroneously resulting in shifts in our structural alignment, therefore causing pain that appeared “out of nowhere”. So guess what happens next? That weekend warrior will probably start to develop the mentality of “my body is falling apart….” or “I’m just getting old…”.
Yes, we all age and maintaining a certain level of physical execution can become more challenging, BUT with that said we are starting to see more professional athletes play into their late 30’s or even into their 40’s (ie: Tom Brady isn’t still playing football just because of his dashing good looks). Why is that? It is because some athletes have understood that that pain isn’t our indicator for optimal performance. Their surrounding trainers, doctors, and other health care professionals approach their training and rehab more functionally related based vs. pain related.
So try and not let pain fool you into thinking you are at 100% recovered. We all love to participate in sports or activities, so seeking a professional who is well educated and certified in functional training and restoration will not only benefit your health, but provide you with the tools to keep you out there on that field, court, trail, track, and whatever you call your own playground!
Dr. Stephanie Smith is a licensed sports chiropractic physician in the greater area of Atlanta. Originally from New York, Dr. Smith, found her love for sports while extensively participating in many activities, to find herself earning an athletic scholarship to Penn State where she participated with the Women's PSU soccer team. That, then took her further to play professionally in Vancouver, Canada in which there she became highly interested in improvement in sports performance and athletic durability. Her desire to continue playing at a high level earned her the opportunity to attend Life University in Marietta, GA where she earned her Doctorate degree in Chiropractic and also her Master's degree in sports medicine. Her drive and continued determination to help those seeking improved physical and health goals is her motivation behind creating this website and program called SportsFXN!