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Are you over exhaling..?

Do any of these cues sound familiar?

'Breathe all the air out'

'Empty your lungs completely'

'Make sure there's no air left'

I've worked with hundreds of women over the last 3 years, and this is something that comes up all the time - so I thought I would have a brief chat about it here.

When people come to me saying they've been doing hypopressives and either their symptoms are staying the same or only improving a bit - this is one of the things I'm looking for.

Physiologically, you can't empty your lungs completely - there will always be a residual volume of air left in your lungs even after a maximum forceful exhalation. This keeps the alveoli open at all times and is a protective mechanism.

When you are doing a cycle of breathing in hypopressives, you only want to exhale until your exhale comes to a natural end: cue - exhale at the same strength until the breath fades away, without increasing the strength of the exhale to push more air out. At that point you hold your breath, pause - and stretch your ribs.

How do I know if I'm over exhaling?

You can test this yourself but taking in a nice steady inhale through your nose for 3, and then exhaling steadily through your mouth (for about 5 or 6), with your jaw relaxed - keeping the strength of your exhale the same whilst lengthening through the crown of your head. At the point when your exhale starts to fade away - don't be tempted to increase the strength of your exhale - simple hold your breath at this point, pause, stretch your ribs and keep lengthening.

Hope this is helpful!

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