A Perfect Breath
Breath Fitness DCA (Diaphragm Control Assessment)
Overview Of Module 1
Terms To Remember
Tips For Effectiveness
A Perfect Breath is about learning the major breathwork variables and applying combinations for the optimal physiological response according to the situation. (1)
Neutral Zone: having just the right amount of air in your lungs where you have no air pressure in or out.
Over Breath: (Wim Hof style Breath) taking a big breath in, above the neutral zone, then just letting go. The most powerful breath for dumping CO2 quickly.
Forceful Exhale: (Rickson Style Breath): when you push all the air out, only using contraction muscles, then let go, allowing air pressure to go back to neutral. Best when you need your core to be strong and engaged for lifting weights, moving people in Jiu-Jitsu, kicking, hitting, or even throwing.
Breathing slowly with your nose and belly will help you relax and get into more of a parasympathetic or rest and digest state. (2)
Breathing primarily with your chest and mouth will raise anxiety and push you into more of a sympathetic, fight-or-flight state.
Many people unknowingly breathe with their chest and mouth when they are concentrating, which can cause some unnecessary induced stress. (2)
Lastly, during breath holds, if you make even the slightest movements or fidgets or happen to be in the heat or sunshine, even if you are calm, your heart rate could be on the rise, and it will affect your retention times.
So being aware of these concepts should help you determine how to breathe to achieve the results you're interested in.
Laying down is the easiest way to do breathwork because you use the least energy and change your neutral zone.
Keep your knees up because it flattens your lower back allowing you to move more air with less effort.
If you want to sit up find something to lean against during the breath holds.
Lastly, some breathing exercises will require a bit of loosening up the fascia and tightness around your core. For just a few moments a day, do a bit of directing airflow around your diaphragm in as many areas as possible.
HOW TO MEASURE PROGRESS
You can always use the number in the DCA that you can get to as a sign of progress, but the ultimate goal is to make breathwork a regular habit by using creativity to be consistent. Most important is to realize how good it feels to take giant tension-free breathes whenever you need them.
Hyperventilation as a strategy for improved repeated sprint performance: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6735527
Diaphragmatic Breathing Reduces Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3139518/