The most important factor in core and pelvic floor healing is breathing. I preach about this all day, every day.
The vast majority of women breathe up into their chests instead down into their body. This happens from years of sucking in to “look thin.” Add pregnancy on top of that and things get smushed, which makes it harder to take a breath down into the body.
Why Does Rib Mobility Matter?
Let’s take a deeper look. Check out what happens with each and every breath. If your ribs prevent the breath from going down into the body, your pelvic floor can’t relax.
Old habits die hard. My first line of defense in improving diastasis recti, prolapse and incontience is teaching women how to breathe down…into their bodies. I go over this in great detail in the Core Basics program, which comes for free with Strong Like a Mother, the total body fitness program designed to help your core and get you strong as heck! But even with the best of intentions and mind/body connection–without good rib expansion, we get stuck. Quite literally.
The rib cage is designed to expand laterally on the inhale. The diaphragm, the dome-like breathing muscle that sits under our ribs, pushes air down into the lungs. Ideally, this inhale expands the ribs outward. It is a slight expansion, but an important one. Overflow of the breath goes down into the belly. In short, on that inhale, the breath should expand the ribs, and go into our back and belly. This is called 360 degree breathing.
If your ribs don’t expand easily, the breath is forced down into the tummy (or we revert and breathe up into our chest). We take 25,000 breaths a day. That pressure out against the tummy midline repeatedly can prevent full healing.
Self Massage Helps with Rib Expansion
If you tend to have an upper diastasis recti (above the belly button), this lack of mobility may be to blame. We need to work on rib cage expansion by addressing a few factors.
- Skin rolling to “release” fascia
- Foam rolling to release the lat muscles
- Mobility and range of motion exercises
Watch this video. See if you can get some release in your back and side body.
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