Breathing with your diaphragm

 Diaphragm breathing, showing positions of hands on chest and belly while breathing out

Breathing with your diaphragm helps your lungs expand so that they take in more air.

  1. Lie on your back, or prop yourself up on several pillows.
  2. Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest.
  3. When you breathe in, push your belly out as far as possible. You should feel the hand on your belly move out, while the hand on your chest does not move.
  4. When you breathe out, you should feel the hand on your belly move in.
  5. Notice how it feels to breathe this way. When you start to exercise, try to get the same feeling of your chest and belly moving in and out as you breathe, rather than your chest and shoulders moving up toward your neck and back down.

ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine

Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology

Current as ofMarch 25, 2017

Current as of: March 25, 2017

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology