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Abdominal breathing

Synonyms: abdominal breathing, abdominal respiration, diaphragmatic respiration
German: Bauchatmung

1 Definition

Abdominal breathing is a kind of respiration that is mainly characterized by contraction of the diaphragm.

Respiration characterized by movement of the thorax is called thoracic breathing or chest breathing.

2 Background

Abdominal breathing is used in a calm, physically relaxed state. Inspiration is mainly caused by contraction of the diaphragm. This contraction leads to more negative pressure in the pleural cavity causing the lungs to expand. As a result, air can flow through the airways into the lungs. The subsequent relaxation of the diaphragm leads to expiration. The lungs contract due to their inherent elasticity and release air through the airways.

Abdominal breathing uses less muscle activity than thoracic breathing. Therefore, abdominal breathing is favorable from the energetic point of view.

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