Lateral rib expansion. Oh so good. I have been working on this daily since January and I finally feel like I've got some! I was a chest-breather-turned-belly breather, so it was really hard for me to break those habits and learn a new pattern. It does require an obsessive focus, for sure, but it is so worth the time.
I like to first do some focused side breathing while blocking the opposite side so that I can open up tight sides and low back. Do 3-5 breaths each side and make sure you are sending that breath where you want it! Watch out for breathing too far down into the pelvic floor. I feel a crazy stretch in my side every time so I try to do at least 5 of these through the day, but ideally up to 10 times! Then, check out that amazing lateral expansion.
Ten months ago, there was exactly zero movement out to the side. Oh sweet progress.
Now, it is daily maintenance to keep things moving in the right direction. Some days are better than others, and I notice that stress really clamps down on my sides and back so I make sure to fit in extra breath work on those days.
Breath re-training is tedious work. Real talk. Just keep chipping away at it each day and don't expect miracles early on. I like to take a lot of video to track my progress and on the days I feel frustrated with the process, I check out where I have been and where I am now and it is an instant mood lifter! I'm serious. I felt so vain at first, but truly how else will we know we have made progress along the way with these "small" things?
Try this out and let me know how it goes!
Runner, lifter of children, PTA, CPT, PCES, pelvic health zealot