Breathing…made complicated.


First off, thanks to all the goalies who have done the 6 question survey helping me put the finishing touches on the NEW Ultimate Goalie Training program – much appreciated.  If you want to help out (and have a chance to win every single product I currently sell) then you have until Friday, November 30th at noon eastern time.

Get the Survey Here.

Next I want to remind those of you who own Ultimate Goalie Training 2.0 that I have been updating the hosting account over the last 12-hours (I am actually moving it to a new hosting company) so that means you may go to the site and find it down for up to 24 hours they tell me.

Now we moved this site on Monday night and it was back up by the time I was at the computer by 5am, but just because that one went smoothly, doesn’t mean this one will.  We shall see.

How to breathe – yes there is a right way.

What could be simpler than breathing?  Well, you might be surprised if I told you that you could do better.

Stop reading right now and take in as big a breath as you can.  Go.

Now do that same thing again, but this time pay attention  – Did your shoulders rise?  Did your rib cage flare out?  Did you run out of capacity and just feel like you had no more space to pull in air?

If you experienced any of these, chances are you are breathing in your rib cage rather than maximizing the use of your diaphragm and breathing into your belly.

Before I give you this simple exercise that I learned at the Charlie Weingroff workshop a few weeks ago I want to tell you why this is important.

I am just starting to unlock the impact of poor breathing patterns and it is really complex, but here is the reader’s digest version.

Poor Breathing Patterns Can Lead To…

  • Compromised core stability
  • Tightness in the iliopsoas (hip flexor) and anterior pelvic tilt
  • Chronic tightness in the lower back extensors
  • Forward head posture
  • Overuse of the upper traps
  • Lack of mobility through the thoracic spine

Any one of these can lead to several overuse-type injuries, but there seems to be a pretty clear relationship tying many of these together based on how you breathe.  As a final point, wouldn’t it be great to take a breath and find more capacity there to fill your lungs with air to help fuel your activity and recharge your system during the rest periods.

Here is the exercise…

  1. Lie on your back with your feet flat and your knees bent (or elevate your feet on a chair or weight bench)
  2. Put one hand on your upper chest and one hand over your belly button.
  3. Breathe in through your nose.
  4. Instead of your ribs lifting up or flaring out, try to breathe into your belly.  Try to feel your bellybutton move outward and downward toward your feet.  Do this by drawing in air only; do not use your muscles to simply push your belly out.
  5. Once you can do that fairly well, then envision an inflatable ring around your waist (like the kind you used as a kid before you could swim) and try to draw air into that ring all the way around your circumference.
  6. Remember, your rib cage should not rise or flare up.
  7. Breathe in for a count of 3.  Hold for a count of 3. Exhale for a count of 3.
  8. Practice for 2-minutes per day until you get the hang of it and then try the same thing in a side-lying position, then a seated position, then a standing position, they incorporate it while you are doing your stretching and finally try using it when you are on the ice or doing your off-ice training.

So there, I have done it, I have complicated breathing – you are welcome.  Next week I will be back with an article outlining the biomechanics of holding your cereal spoon – ha ha just kidding 🙂