Build Strong Back Muscles With Breath Hub!
Back pain can affect people from all walks of life. Whether it is caused by poor posture, strenuous physical activity or chronic conditions, finding a cure for back pain has become a priority for many. While the first methods that come to mind, such as medication and physical therapy, can be effective in treating back pain, there is a lesser-known solution that can provide significant benefits: breathwork! In addition to exploring the relationship between breathing exercises and back pain, we have reviewed various breathing techniques that can help relieve back pain and strengthen back muscles. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Build Strong Back Muscles With Breath Hub!
- The Connection Between Breathing and Back Muscles
- How Does Proper Breathing Benefit the Back Muscles?
- Breathing Exercises to Strengthen Back Muscles and Reduce Back Pain
- Take Action with the Breath Hub app!
The Connection Between Breathing and Back Muscles
It’s safe to say that we often underestimate the function of breathing. But it’s important to remember that the way you breathe has a direct impact on back health. But, how?
The muscles associated with breathing, including the diaphragm, abdominal muscles and smaller muscles in the back, are connected to the vertebrae in the lumbar spine. When we breathe incorrectly or shallowly, these muscles tense up and cause tension and pain in the back.
In a study by Hagins and Lamberg (2011), people with chronic low back pain often experienced respiratory dysfunction because their back muscles were weak. With this research in mind, we can say that focusing on improving breathing techniques and properly treating muscle weaknesses can help relieve back pain and lower back pain!
Good to know: Back muscle weakness can worsen breathing problems during exertional activities and further contribute to discomfort.
How Does Proper Breathing Benefit the Back Muscles?
Proper breathing techniques can provide numerous visible benefits when it comes to relieving back pain and strengthening the back muscles.
When we breathe correctly, we engage the diaphragm and allow the lungs to fully expand. This deep breathing relaxes the whole body and relieves tension in the back and lower back. Additionally, deep breathing increases oxygen intake, helping to reduce pain and improve our general health.
Breathing Exercises to Strengthen Back Muscles and Reduce Back Pain
1. Back Opening Breathing Exercise
The back extension breathing exercise is a simple but effective technique that can help improve posture and reduce back pain.
- Find a comfortable position, making sure that your weight is evenly distributed over your body.
- Take a deep breath, allowing the air to fill the lower part of your lungs and expand your back.
- Exhale slowly, pulling your lower abs towards your back and letting your shoulder blades drop.
- Repeat this exercise several times, focusing on the sensation of the breath passing through your back.
2. Dwipada Marjariasana
Dwipada Marjariasana, also known as Two-Legged Cat-Cow Pose, is a yoga asana that combines the movements of Cat Pose (Marjariasana) and Cow Pose (Bitilasana). It is a gentle and dynamic stretch that helps to warm up the spine and release tension in the back.
- Start by getting on your hands and knees on a yoga mat. Make sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips. Keep your spine in a neutral position.
- Inhale deeply and lower your belly towards the floor, arching your back. Lift your chest and tailbone towards the ceiling and allow your head to lift naturally. This is a starting position similar to Cow Pose.
- Exhale slowly and rotate your back towards the ceiling, pulling your chin towards your chest. Pull your navel towards your spine to engage your abdominal muscles. This is a similar starting position to Cat Pose.
- Inhale again and extend your right leg straight back, keeping it parallel to the floor. At the same time, raise your left arm forward, parallel to the floor. Keep your gaze focused on the floor to maintain balance.
- Hold the position for a few breaths, feeling the stretch along your extended leg and arm. Keep your core engaged to stabilize your body.
- Exhale and bring your right knee and left hand back to the starting position on the mat.
- Inhale once more and repeat the same movement on the opposite side. Extend your left leg straight back and lift your right arm forward.
- Hold the pose for a few breaths, feeling the stretch along your extended leg and arm.
- Exhale and bring your left knee and right hand back to the starting position.
- Continue alternating between extending the right leg/left arm and the left leg/right arm, moving with the rhythm of your breath.
- Repeat the sequence for 5 to 10 rounds or as desired.
3. Ardha Shalabhasana
Ardha Shalabhasana, also known as Half Locust Pose, is a yoga asana that targets the muscles of the lower back, buttocks, and legs.
- Lie face down on a yoga mat or a comfortable surface. Extend your legs and bring your feet together so that the tops of your feet touch the floor.
- Place your arms next to your body, palms facing down, and relax your shoulders.
- Take a deep breath and as you exhale, engage your abdominal muscles to support your lower back.
- Inhale and lift your right leg off the floor, keeping it straight. Focus on engaging the muscles in your hips and lower back to lift your leg.
- Fix your hips on the floor and keep your left leg firmly on the floor. Maintain a slight internal rotation of the lifted leg so that the toes point slightly inward.
- Hold the lifted position for a few breaths, extend the leg and feel the stretch in the lower back and hips.
- As you exhale, slowly lower your right leg to the floor.
- Take a moment to rest and relax before repeating the same steps with your left leg.
- You can do several repetitions of Ardha Shalabhasana with each leg, gradually increasing the duration of each lift as you become more comfortable.
- Keep your breath smooth and steady throughout the pose.
- Avoid lifting your leg too high if it causes discomfort or strain in your lower back. Gradually work on increasing the height as your strength and flexibility improve.
- Remember to practice the asana on both sides to maintain balance in your body.
4. Supta Kapotasana
Supta Kapotasana, also known as Reclining Pigeon Pose or Sleeping Pigeon Pose, is a deep backbend and hip-opening yoga pose. It stretches and opens the chest, shoulders, abdomen, thighs, and hips.
- Start by lying on your back on a yoga mat or comfortable surface.
- Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet onto the mat, hip distance apart.
- Slide your right foot under your left knee and place it on the outside of your left hip. Your right shin should be diagonal to the mat.
- Extend your left leg straight back, keeping your left foot active and your toes pointing forward.
- Inhale and lengthen your spine, lift your chest and arch your upper back slightly.
- Exhale and begin to lower your upper body towards the mat, using your hands for support.
- Continue lifting your chest and lengthening your spine as you descend.
- If you feel comfortable, you can lower your forearms onto the mat, allowing your upper back and shoulders to release and relax.
- Once you find a comfortable position, stay in the pose for 5-10 breaths, allowing your body to gradually open up and release tension.
- To come out of the pose, slowly press down on your hands and forearms, lift your chest and turn to your right side.
- Slowly extend your legs and take a few breaths before repeating the pose on the opposite side.
5. Diaphragmatic Breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, is a technique that focuses on engaging the diaphragm to promote relaxation and improve back pain.
- Lie on your back or sit comfortably.
- Place one hand on your chest and the other just below your ribcage.
- Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your stomach to rise while keeping your chest still.
- Exhale slowly through pursed lips, contracting your abdominal muscles.
- Practice this exercise for at least 5 minutes, several times a day.
Take Action with the Breath Hub app!
If you’re ready to take your breathing exercises to the next level and experience the full potential of back pain relief and back muscle strengthening, the Breath Hub app is here to help! Download the Breath Hub app and gain access to a wide range of guided breathing exercises and personalized programs designed specifically for back pain. Start your journey towards a pain-free back by downloading the Breath Hub app today from Apple Store or Google Play!