Postural control and breathing are mechanically and neuromuscularly linked. Both systems—spinal stability and breathing—include the diaphragm, transversus abdominis, intercostal muscles, internal obliques, and pelvic floor muscles. The entire motor system consists of many body segments. Their proper alignment with the gravitational line ensures proper posture. Any irregularity in this alignment can cause changes in both closer and further segments and even in the functioning of certain systems and organs. Many studies confirm that body posture is conditioned by deep muscle activity.
One study reported that the transversus abdominis, internus obliquus abdominis, and externus obliquus abdominis muscles stabilize the trunk and also play an important role in postural alignment. In particular, the transversus abdominis plays an important role in stabilizing the lumbar region with the multifidus. There are studies confirming the effect of activating deep muscles, including the transversus abdominis, in adjusting and improving body posture.
Deep muscles play an important role in postural control. The activity of these muscles directly contributes to joint stability. Reduced deep muscle activity of the lower body causes compensatory posture and movement patterns. The particular pattern of compensation due to the lack of tension in the deep stabilizers of the lower body is associated with overuse of the superficial muscles and changes in the position of body parts. For this reason, many authors have emphasized the need to strengthen the deep muscles in the retraining of postural control. Confirmed the effect of deep muscle training on improved postural control. Although it is related to the position of the head, trunk and pelvis, it is among the evidence that the exercises applied positively affect trunk control only in the sagittal plane. Such a relationship can be explained by the fact that the exercises applied only activate the stabilizing muscles of the lower body.
It confirms that deep muscle training improves core stability, the ability to strengthen the lumbopelvic complex and transfer forces from the upper body to the lower extremities, while keeping the spine in a neutral position. This muscle group is characterized by early activation regardless of the movement performed (i.e. called feedforward or early timing.). These muscles work mostly isometrically.
Also known as diaphragmatic breathing, normal breathing involves synchronized movement of the upper rib cage, lower rib cage, and abdomen. It also requires adequate use and functionality of the diaphragm muscles. Under normal physiological conditions, the diaphragm lowers when air is inhaled and rises during exhalation.
It is believed that the diaphragm has both postural and respiratory function. Many reports show that both the diaphragm and abdominal muscles work together to help spinal stabilization by stiffening the lumbar spine through increased intra-abdominal pressure. Therefore, deep muscle training is especially recommended for the prevention and treatment of back pain. Tests in healthy subjects have shown that even momentary and mild postural defects have a significant impact on the spirometry variables that characterize breathing. It has been accepted that abnormal posture prevents the diaphragm from working properly and this causes an increase in the activity of the thoracic region.
Pavel Kolar claimed that a normal breathing pattern requires a stable lower body. The structure that connects a stable body with breathing is the diaphragm, but the diaphragm does not participate in stabilization homogeneously as a functional unit.
It is among the studies that have confirmed the effect of working the muscles that stabilize the lower body on both the quality of posture and the amplitude of respiratory movements. Performed deep trunk muscle training contributed significantly to an increase in the amplitude of the abdominal cavity and has been proven to change the position of the trunk. The stereotype of abnormal breathing, known as thoracic breathing, involves breathing from the upper chest, evidenced by more upper rib cage movement compared to the lower rib cage. Thoracic breathing is produced by the accessory respiratory muscles (including the sternocleidomastoid, upper trapezius, and scalene muscles) that dominate the lower rib cage and abdominal movement. There are studies suggesting that decreased abdominal movement relative to upper chest movement confirms weak diaphragmatic movement.
Compared with traditional exercises, it has been shown that a program that includes core exercises focusing on muscle chain stretching and breathing techniques can lead to greater improvement in respiratory function.
Exercises Given to Participants in General
Figure 1- Activation of the transversus abdominis muscle
Figure 2-Single leg bridging
Figure 3- Upper extremity elevation in crawling position
Figure 5-Leg elevation on the exercise ball
Deep muscle training improves trunk and respiratory control. The posture and breathing stereotype form a functional unit and is strongly influenced by the thorax position.
Szczygieł, E., Blaut, J., Zielonka-Pycka, K., Tomaszewski, K., Golec, J., Czechowska, D., Masłoń, A., & Golec, E. (2018). The Impact of Deep Muscle Training on the Quality of Posture and Breathing. Journal of motor behavior, 50(2), 219–227. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222895.2017.1327413