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
- Diaphragm Pressure (front and sides) – (see video)
- breathe in deeply through the nose and expand your diaphragm with one hand over the chest and one over your belly.
- The upper hand should not move.
- After a few breaths add some resistance to your lower hand pressing your belly down as you counter by trying to expand your diaphragm.
- 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.
- Try to expand your diaphragm out to the sides.
- One you feel the expansion give some resistance with your hands. Do a few rounds of each exercise.
2. Diaphragm Release massage – (see video)
- take your index and middle finger, point them out together, and slightly curve them.
- 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.
- You want to try to feel the underside of your ribs.
- 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
- Lay on your back
- Knees bend, feet flat on the floor.
- Put your hands on your upper thighs where they connect to your hips.
- Fully exhale while pushing your hips away
- Try to pull your belly button up and under your ribcage (on empty lungs) feel the stretch
2. Side Body Full Stretch
- Lay flat on your back and fully extend your feet.
- Extend your hands above your head
- Exhale fully, engage your glutes (butt) and again pull your belly button up under your ribs.
- 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)
- You can do this sitting standing or laying down. For either position have good posture, flat back, chest up, shoulders back.
- Start to inhale into your belly, when that fills move to your chest, then up into your clavicles.
- Once completely full take a few extra sips of air and hold for a few seconds.
- Very slowly exhale and feel the air slowly leave your lungs as they go back to resting position.
- Where do you feel this in your body? Any pain or stiffness>
- 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.