External Oblique Exercises for Hyperinflation
Updated: Jun 19
Over breathing is a common issue in which breathing becomes unnecessarily effortful.
Taking in more air than is necessary can cause unnecessary tension in the throat muscles and can ultimately affect the elasticity of the lungs. Because we can never fully inhale or exhale, this issue also greatly affects the body's ability to load and propel.
We tend to hyperventilate when stress occurs- essentially over breathing in search of oxygen when the body perceives in to be scarce.
In the long term, too much of this type of breathing can result in hyperinflation or air that stays trapped in the the lungs.
Much like pulling back a slingshot, we want to establish enough abdominal tension as we inhale to exhale powerfully enough to expel all air. This is an extremely important concept for both general health and phonation.
So how do we get the tension back in our abs?
The external obliques originate from the outer part of the fifth through twelfth ribs on each side of the rib cage. From these ribs, the muscle then runs diagonally down each side and connects to the iliac crest, linea alba, and the pubis.
This line of pull means these muscles can be extremely useful in closing the ribcage with exhalation.
Here is a 3 exercise sequence that I like to use as a warm up to create lateral abdominal tension to assist in closing the ribs.
1. Side plank w/band reach
2. FFE split squat with band tension
3. One arm kettlebell March