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Pre-Pilates: Breathing in Pilates – “Rib” (Lateral) Breathing

Foundations: Breathing

Quick Intro: Breathing in Pilates


What’s it good for?

Check out the “Breathing” post – here

Lateral breathing – becoming aware

We are going to use our abdominal muscles to stop the diaphragm lowering into the abdomen – actually it flattens out into the abdomen.

We noticed how this causes the belly to balloon out (diaphragm breathing here).  This means that we don’t have our abdominal muscles active at that time.

This energising breath allows us to have active abdominals during our Pilates practice – essential to both strengthen them and to protect the spine in bending exercises.

Another reason we really want to be conscious that we are using lateral breathing is the concept of “integrity of the trunk”.  Diaphragmatic breathing can cause the ribs to pop out and destabilise the spine, allowing the pelvis to rock backwards and forwards.

In contrast, lateral breathing encourages the deep stabilising muscles to engage and it’s these which stabilise the whole lumbo pelvic (lower back and spine) region.

The inhale is the expansion into the side of the ribs and the exhale is the contraction.  But you might also find that to keep the abdominal region pulling in on the inhale takes a great deal of abdominal contraction and awareness.  It may take some time to totally get this, but keep persevering as it will come, sooner or later.

Another awareness raising technique…

Wrap a towel, belt or theraband around your torso and as you inhale, feel the ribs expand into the band:

Any Questions?

Ask away – I love to help!  Click here for the Contact Page 🙂 – or leave a comment at the bottom of the post – see you there…

To find a short deliberate pace, beginners workout that looks specifically these exercises go to the Foundations section of our video page.
Miguel 🙂

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