How many of us have constant neck pain and tension?? I'd say most! We often think: I must've slept "funny", or maybe I tweaked it during my workout, or it's probably all the stress in my life...And while it may be one or all of those things, another highly likely, and very common cause, is how you BREATHE.
Did you know that we breathe on average about 20, 000 times a day? That's alot! And if you're breathing with the wrong muscles thousands and thousands of times in a 24 hour period, those muscles are bound to get angry, tight, and irritated.
An optimal breathing pattern uses the diaphragm, serratus anterior, intercostal muscles of the ribs, quadratus lumborum, and the abs! Our accessory breathing muscles (aka - the ones that are supposed to help out a bit, but not do ALL the work) include: the scalenes, sternocleidomastoid, and pec minor. Big words perhaps, but it doesn't really matter if you've heard of these muscles or not. What I want you to understand is where they are in the body. The first list of muscles used for optimal breathing, those are all located in and around the trunk and back area. Guess where the accessory muscles are located? The upper chest and neck!! Hmmmm....a connection perhaps? YEP!
So how can we get those neck muscles to stop doing all the work in order to reduce our neck pain and stiffness? I'm glad you asked!
We need to breathe better!
In order to get the right muscles doing their job, we need to let the diaphragm work like it's supposed to. We need to allow the rib cage to move in a full 360 degree motion, and we need to really focus on allowing our BACK ribs to expand.
Guaranteed, MOST people have extremely limited awareness of their breathing. And they especially have no connection to the back and side ribs. Take a moment and place your hands around your ribcage. Now take a big inhale. Did you feel your ribs expanding into your hands? Now, imagine every time you took an inhale your ribcage expanded as if it was an umbrella opening up, is your umbrella broken?
Watch the quick video below and learn how to expand your ribcage so you can stop over stressing your neck muscles and finally rid yourself of chronic neck pain and stiffness!
Interested in learning more?? I'm hosting a breathing workshop next weekend! Join me on March 21 from 9-1030am to learn even more on how your breath can make a huge impact on your wellness. We'll be discussing:
How to breath properly for the best core activation
How to breath while lifting weights/heavy objects
How breath can affect our nervous system and take us from stressed out to calm, to energetic, and back again!
Sign up today! It's $10 for the general public and FREE for Members of my Fit From Home Membership Program!
In Wellness, Krista