According to Mayo Clinic.org core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles, and if you lack proper balance when standing, walking, or bending it could be due to a weak core. The muscles in your core are key for helping you maintain your balance.
Major core muscles include the pelvic floor muscles, transverses abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae and diaphragm, which most readers recognize as a prime muscle of breathing.
Daily use of a respiratory muscle training (RMT) device, especially a combined inspiratory-expiratory muscle trainer (cRMT) with variable resistance might help improve breathing AND balance.
RMT devices have been used for over 30 years as an adjunct treatment for people with respiratory conditions such as COPD and for strengthening of weak respiratory muscles due to spinal cord injuries or neuro-degenerative diseases. Some athletes use RMT as part of their sports training and respiratory muscle training is also a popular device intervention for individuals with dysphagia (swallowing problem).
We know from numerous studies that RMT is an effective form of exercise, because, like skeletal muscles, respiratory muscles respond to a training stimulus by undergoing adaptations to their structure and function that are specific to the training stimulus.When RMT is used to improve breathing or co-ordination of breathing and swallowing your therapist will typically instruct you in the use of an RMT device with initial training following a protocol of once or twice daily use attaining a target of 60-70% of maximum inspiratory and/or expiratory pressure (MIP/MEP). Week by week the training load will increase with a new MIP/MEP target established. If you are incorporating cRMT into physical or occupational therapy with a goal of improving postural stability and balance, you may shift to more functional training which may include using your cRMT device in positions that challenge core stability such as while sitting on a balance ball.
A group of researchers reported findings suggesting that a program including core exercises performed with a focus on muscular chain stretching and breathing techniques can lead to greater improvement in respiratory function, abdominal muscle endurance, and movement efficiency. Furthermore, their results suggest that a series of core exercises performed with a vocal sound emission can be a valid strategy to enhance proper diaphragmatic breathing patterns and deep internal abdominal activation. When the core exercises were performed with a vocal sound emission diaphragmatic breathing patterns and deep internal abdominal activation were further enhanced.[i]
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[i] J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Oct; 27(10): 3249–3253. Published online 2015 Oct 30. doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.3249
My Mission: To enlist individuals in their treatment, and help them express their personality & spirit through voice. To educate and empower. Mary Spremulli, MA, CCC-SLP * FiTOUR® Group Exercise Instructor * Voice Aerobics® A Whole Body Approach to Voice Practice
Voice Aerobics the heART and Science of Voice Practice