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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Diaphragm And Core Training: The Connection

Bracing, diaphragm breathing, the drawing in method and other techniques are well known through the fitness industry as methods or techniques to help train and prepare the core muscle to stabilize the spine during movement and exertion. The diaphragm is the foundation to postural or core stabilization and works in conjunction with other core muscle to keep your back safe. 

The overall main contributing factor of the diaphragm in core stabilization is through increased intra-abdominal pressure. This study used rapid upper body limb movements both seated and standing. The diaphragm activates in response to the reactive forces that challenge postural stability. Both sustained and frequent burst contractions of the diaphragm occurred as necessary to counter the reactive forces (Hodges, P., Gandevia, S., 2000).

Standing and sitting movements caused consistent activation of the diaphragm with little noticeable change. The ability of other core stabilizer muscles, such as the transversus abdominis and internal oblique abdominal muscles, to assist in postural stability or core stabilization are effected directly from the impact of the diaphragm’s production of increased intra- abdominal pressure (Hodges, P., Gandevia, S., 2000). 

The diaphragm’s role in core or postural stabilization is critical and the diaphragm is the key integrator within the core stabilization system of the body.


Hodges, P., Gandevia, S. (2000). Activation of the human diaphragm during a repetitive postural task. The Journal of Physiology, 522, 165-175.

Eric Dempsey
NASM Certified Personal Trainer & Weight Loss Specialist
Dempsey's Resolution Fitness
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