Lesson 15 of 19
In Progress

Stretching the Diaphragm

The diaphragm can get really stuck, tense and tight. We want to allow it to move freely. Below are a series of different stretches you can do to help open things up.

Stretching the Diaphragm Exercises Part 1

Stretching the Diaphragm Exercises Part 2

Physical Diaphragm Exercises

  1. Diaphragm Pressure (front and sides) – (see video)
  1. breathe in deeply through the nose and expand your diaphragm with one hand over the chest and one over your belly. 
  2. The upper hand should not move. 
  3. After a few breaths add some resistance to your lower hand pressing your belly down as you counter by trying to expand your diaphragm.
  4. Now place both hands one your sides thumb towards your lumbar spine and pointer finger towards your belly button just under your rib cage on each side of your torso. 
  5. Try to expand your diaphragm out to the sides. 
  6. One you feel the expansion give some resistance with your hands. Do a few rounds of each exercise.

2. Diaphragm Release massage – (see video)

  1. take your index and middle finger, point them out together, and slightly curve them. 
  2. Now reach under your rib cage and slowly massage the tissue, starting from your lower rib cage all the way up to your breastbone and back down again. 
  3. You want to try to feel the underside of your ribs. 
  4. Go Slow and steady back and forth as you release the tissue. Breath in and out through your diaphragm as you massage

3. Diaphragm Stretches (see video)

1. Hip Holders

  1. Lay on your back
  2. Knees bend, feet flat on the floor.
  3. Put your hands on your upper thighs where they connect to your hips.
  4. Fully exhale while pushing your hips away
  5. Try to pull your belly button up and under your ribcage (on empty lungs) feel the stretch

2. Side Body Full Stretch

  1. Lay flat on your back and fully extend your feet.
  2. Extend your hands above your head
  3. Exhale fully, engage your glutes (butt) and again pull your belly button up under your ribs.
  4. To extend this stretch make a moon shape with your body without twisting. Push out your hip to one side with your hands and feet going the opposite way. 

4. Slow internal Stretch Expansion (see videos)

  1. You can do this sitting standing or laying down. For either position have good posture, flat back, chest up, shoulders back.
  2. Start to inhale into your belly, when that fills move to your chest, then up into your clavicles.
  3. Once completely full take a few extra sips of air and hold for a few seconds.
  4. Very slowly exhale and feel the air slowly leave your lungs as they go back to resting position.
  5. Where do you feel this in your body? Any pain or stiffness>
  6. Once you are very comfortable with this in a static position you can slowly move your body intuitively when full. Feel the sensations and extra stretch.


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