What is Chest Breathing?, What is Abdominal Breathing?


Like other living things, humans also need to breathe throughout their lives. Breathing is the process of taking the gases that the body needs, namely oxygen and the process of expelling gases from combustion in the body, namely carbon dioxide.

The process of breathing in humans can be divided into 2, namely: inspiration, namely the entry of external air into the lungs (commonly called breathing in), and expiration, namely exhaling air from the lungs into the outside environment (also known as exhaling).

So far we know that the lungs are the most important organs in the human respiratory system. The lungs have the biggest role to regulate the flow of oxygen in the body. That is, the process of breathing in humans occurs mainly in the lungs.

The lungs are a pair of spongy, air-filled organs located in the chest cavity, just above the diaphragm. While the diaphragm is a septum body cavity that limits the chest cavity and abdominal cavity.

For those of you who have participated in pencak silat training or other sports, you may have been taught about chest breathing and abdominal breathing. Yes, breathing is also divided into two, namely chest breathing (rib breathing) and abdominal breathing (diaphragmatic breathing). The following is a brief explanation of both.

Chest Breathing

Chest breathing occurs when the muscles between the outer ribs contract, causing the ribs to lift upwards. As a result, the volume of the chest cavity increases, so that the air pressure in the chest cavity decreases, the lungs expand, the air pressure in the lung cavity drops to much lower than atmospheric air pressure, and finally the outside air enters the lungs.

When the outer intercostal muscles relax (slack) and the inner intercostal muscles contract, the ribs fall back down, the chest cavity narrows, the air pressure in the chest cavity rises, the lungs are compressed and eventually shrinks. the air in the lungs rises higher than atmospheric air pressure, and as a result air is expelled from the lungs.

Belly Breathing

Abdominal breathing or also known as diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing is breathing that is done by contracting the diaphragm, which is a muscle located horizontally between the chest cavity and the abdominal cavity. The diaphragm is a muscle that plays an important role in helping us breathe. When doing this type of breathing, then we will breathe more deeply and inhale more oxygen.

In abdominal breathing, the most important part is the diaphragm. If the diaphragm muscle contracts, the diaphragm which was originally convex upward becomes somewhat flat, so that the chest cavity also enlarges, as a result the lungs will also expand towards the stomach and the stomach will swell. Therefore the air pressure in the lungs decreases, and the outside air enters. When the diaphragm returns to its original state, which is convex toward the chest cavity, the chest cavity narrows, the pressure rises, and the air in the lungs exits. Abdominal breathing occurs mainly during sleep.

That's a glimpse of chest breathing and abdominal breathing. In conclusion, chest and abdominal breathing are two ways of breathing that have different effects on the body. That said, abdominal breathing is more efficient because it draws more oxygen into the lungs. Belly breathing also has several benefits for the health of our bodies and minds.


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