ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY OF MUSCLES INVOLVED IN BREATHING:
I ran a Breathing Dynamics course for Surfers and Sports people over the weekend, (details linked here https://www.facebook.com/events/2083394425213514/) and a question came up about the muscles involved in breathing, and their relationship to posture. One of the attendees, Torquay myotherapist, Gary Javoneva was able to contribute some fantastic information. He followed up with this fantastic article on the ‘Anatomy and physiology of muscles involved in breathing.’ I have included the full article, including Gary’s contact details here.
“I have prepared this article to explain you the principle and the relation between breathing and your muscles and on how can your posture mess up with your training. I tried to keep it simple and brief.
BREATHING PUMP MUSCLE:
The breathing pump muscle are a complex arrangement that form a semi-rigid bellows around your lungs.
Essentially, all the muscles that attach to the rib cage have the potential to generate breathing action. Here are the main muscles involve in breathing and that can be treated during a myotherapy session:
The principle muscle of inspiration is the diaphragm, it attaches to the lower ribs and the lumbar vertebrae.
Diaphragm contraction induces the lower ribs upward and forward, increasing the thoracic volume.
The muscles of the ribs: The Intercostal muscles located in the space between the ribs. Contraction of the intercostals cause the ribs to move upward and outward.
Intercostal muscle contractions also stiffen the rib cage during lifting, pushing, and pulling movement.
Some muscles in the neck region also have an inspiratory function, the Scalenes and Sternocleidomastoid muscles are attached to the top of the sternum, upper two ribs and clavicle (Collar bone). When these muscles contract they lift the top of the chest, but the scalene muscles are also involved in flexion of the neck.
The most well known and visible expiratory muscle is the rectus abdominis (6 pack), the other muscles less visible, but arguably more functionally important in any sports with their primary actions are the transversus abdominis and the internal and exterior oblique muscles.
The internal intercostal which slope backward, when they contract the ribs move downward and inward. Both internal and external intercostal muscles are also involved in flexing and twisting the trunk.
HOW POSTURE CAN MESS UP YOUR BREATHING:
If you sit down and lean over, stretching your hands toward the floor in front of your feet, your breathing is far more difficult, because your lungs cannot be filled as easily with air.
What does this extreme example tell us? Quite simply, the more restrictions you place on your breathing, the harder it becomes. Leaning over squeezes your lungs, making them smaller, and decreasing your breathing volume. Shallow breathing means less oxygen into your system. Less oxygen means less energy support.
Sitting or standing straight for a few minutes after slouching most of your life is not good enough. Your muscles, tendons and ligaments become trained by constant slouching. You need to train them with an entirely new habit. You need to create a new “upright” lifestyle.
If you would like to learn more about your posture or you breathing muscles, feel free to contact me 0456074732-
firstname.lastname@example.org, or come in a for a chat at the clinic which is located in the heart of Surf City in Torquay. Torquay Sports Medicine Centre.
Gary Javonena – Myotherapist”