DAY 1

THE CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

30-40 min – No equipment needed – Day 1/4

The exercises for each day are split up into four sections: warm-up, skills, breath holding and stretching. On this page, you can monitor your progress. Click the link to continue to the warm-up section. 

By practising breath holding you will strengthen your entire circulatory system.

 

1. WARM-UP

10 min - No equipment needed - Day 1/4

OBJECTIVE

On the first day, the warm-up focuses on noticing your breathing. By bringing attention to your breathing you will become more aware of it and learn to guide your breathing.

 

SUMMARY

Make sure to always read carefully the instructions before starting the exercise. Then complete the video exercise. During the exercise, you can check the instructions by following the link (Instructions). 

EXERCISES

1. Basic breathing

2. Diaphragmatic breathing

3. Chest breathing

4. Filling the lungs with air

5. 10 second breath hold x 5

 
 

BASIC BREATHING 1 MIN

1.

Sit or lie on your back in a relaxed position. Breathe through the nose. Take three deep breaths. Then allow your breathing become even and find its natural rhythm.

 

2.

Bring one hand to your rib cage and the other on your abdomen. Notice whether it is your abdomen or chest that rises when you breathe in.
 

3.

Make a conscious shift from chest breathing to abdominal breathing. As you breathe with your diaphragm, your abdomen will rise and your rib cage will remain still. Keep the breathing rhythm relaxed and natural.


 

When you are able to consciously breathe with your diaphragm you will allow conscious relaxation. Practising diaphragmatic breathing for just 1 minute allows your body to relax when needed.

BASIC BREATHING 1 MIN

 

DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING 30 sec

1.

Sit or lie on your back in a relaxed position.

 

2.

Using only your diaphragm, breathe in through your nose, filling your lungs gently with air. During inhalation, the abdomen bulges outward pronouncedly. The rib cage does not expand.

3.

Relax your diaphragm and let the air slowly flow out through your nose or mouth. Don’t try to forcibly blow air out. 

 

4.

Hold your breath for a few seconds.

The diaphragm is the primary muscle of respiration. By exercising your diaphragm, you will improve the overall wellbeing of your body.

 

DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING 30 sec

 

THORACIC BREATHING 30 sec

1.

Sit or lie on your back in a relaxed position. Breathe through the nose.

 

2.

Fill your lungs gently with air by expanding your rib cage. The chest rises and expands to the sides and the stomach falls. 

3.

Relax your rib cage, letting the air flow out of your lungs. Don’t try to forcibly blow air out.

The intercostal muscles between the ribs serve to support our respiratory muscles. When we become breathless chest breathing supports diaphragmatic breathing. By exercising chest breathing, you will strengthen the supporting respiratory muscles and learn to notice your breathing.

 

THORACIC BREATHING 30 sec

 

FILLING THE LUNGS WITH AIR

1.

Breathe through the nose. Fill your lungs in two parts by first using the diaphragm and then expanding the rib cage. First, the abdomen bulges out, then, the chest rises and expands to the sides.

 

2.

Relax. Drop your shoulders and let your head gently fall forward.

3.

Hold your breath for 5 seconds.

4.

Repeat five times.


 

Breath holding rests upon the oxygen reserves in our bodies. The lungs are an important oxygen reserve. The more air our lungs can contain, the more oxygen will be available for us to consume and the longer we will be able to hold our breath.

 

FILLING THE LUNGS WITH AIR

 

10 sec BREATH HOLD X 5

1.

Fill your lungs with air in two parts by first using the diaphragm and then expanding the rib cage.

 

2.

Relax. Drop your shoulders and let your head gently fall forward.

3.

Hold your breath for 10 seconds.

4.

Let the air out of the lungs and breathe relaxedly for a few seconds.

5.

Repeat five times.


 

Focus on relaxing during breath-holding. Shake your shoulders and your head. Do you feel any tension? Also, notice the position of your arms and legs. 

 

10 sec BREATH HOLD X 5

 

WARM-UP COMPLETED

The daily exercise consists of different sections focusing on warm-up, skills, breath holding and stretching.

 

Proceed to the skills section.

 
DAY 1

THE CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

30-45 min - No equipment needed - Day 1/4

Everyone can learn to hold their breath by learning certain skills.

 

2. SKILLS

10 min - No equipment needed - Day 1/4

OBJECTIVE

You will learn to understand the functioning of the respiratory system and the diaphragm.

 

You will also learn to fill your lungs as efficiently as possible. Pursed lip breathing is a simple way for controlling the volume of air flowing into the lungs. It allows the lungs to slowly fill with air, enabling more air to enter the lungs.

 

SUMMARY

By breathing in as slowly as possible, your muscles will remain relaxed. Relaxed muscles will stretch around the lungs, allowing the lungs to expand.

EXERCISES

1. Filling the lungs with air using pursed lips breathing

2. Continuous pursed lip breathing

 

FILLING THE LUNGS WITH AIR USING PURSED LIPS BREATHING X 5

1.

Gently blow air out of the lungs through your mouth. 

 

2.

With pursed lips, breathe in slowly filling your lungs with air. Pucker your lips as if preparing to give a kiss. First let your abdomen expand, then your chest.

 

3.

Experiment with different lip positions in order to find one that feels pleasant and relaxed in order to fill your lungs with air. 

 

The slower you fill your lungs, the more filled up they will be.

 

Don’t rush. Use all the time you need for this exercise.

 

If you are familiar with another technique, you may use that.

 

FILLING THE LUNGS WITH AIR USING PURSED LIPS BREATHING X 5

 

CONTINUOUS PURSED LIP BREATHING X 5

1.

Gently blow the air out of the lungs through your mouth.

 

2.

Using pursed lips breathing, fill up your lungs with air for 6 seconds.

3.

Hold your breath for a moment.

 

4.

Empty your lungs entirely from air using pursed lip breathing for 12 seconds..

 

5.

Hold your breath for a moment.

 

Do the exercise at your own pace. The better you can fill your lungs, the slower you can breathe. If you experience symptoms of hyperventilation, breathe much more slowly.
 

The pursed lip breathing technique will activate your diaphragm and your respiration. The tension in your rib cage will ease off and continued exercise will enable more air to enter the lungs.

 

CONTINUOUS PURSED LIP BREATHING X 5

 
 
DAY 1

THE CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

30-45 min - No equipment needed - Day 1/4

Always hold your breath for as long as it feels comfortable.

 

3. BREATH HOLDING

15-20 min - No equipment needed - Day 1/4

Please read carefully the objective and summary for the day. Each day focuses on a specific sensation. Please follow the instructions and only practise breath holding for the time period described, even though you would be able to hold your breath for longer.

OBJECTIVE

Relaxation.

The objective of the first exercise is to find the state of being relaxed during breath holding.

We will learn level 1 breath holding.

SUMMARY

Anyone who can breathe, can also hold their breath. It is a skill that can be easily acquired.

Never hold your breath in water unless you have received appropriate training in freediving. These exercises have been designed solely as dryland exercises. In case of any health related problems, please consult your doctor prior to starting the exercise program.

 

INSTRUCTION 

Only hold your breath until you can clearly feel the breath hold. On level 1 you hold your breath only up until the moment you feel a clear sensation.  Don't hold your breath any longer than the very first sensation. The very first sensation takes place the moment you feel the urge to breathe. As you continue to follow the exercise programme, the duration of breath holds will be increased.

 

The exercises consist of relaxed phases of breathing and breath holding. Stop the counter, as you finish the last MAX breath hold. The counter will show you the duration of your breath hold.

 

Keep in mind that you can always interrupt the breath holding phase and increase the duration of the breathing phase.

EXERCISES

Breath holding level 1

 

1.

Breathe for 30 sec.

Hold your breath for 15 sec.

 

2.

Breathe for 30 sec.

Hold for 30 sec.

 

3.

Breathe for 45 sec.

Hold for 45 sec.

 

4.

Breathe for 2 min.

Hold until you feel the urge to breathe.

 

5.

Breathe and stop the counter. 

 

BREAHT HOLDING LEVEL 1

1.

Sit or lie down in a relaxed position. Test, for example, a cross-sitting or lying on your back with your legs hooked. When you recognize the exercise beeps, you can close the exercise eyes.

2.

Allow your breathing to flow at its own rhythm during the breathing cycles. Do not hyperventilate.

3.

Focus on relaxing and analyzing your feelings during breathing sessions.

4.

Don’t try to make your own record. Make a max holding according to the goals of the day.  

Never set your own breathing records when you’re alone.

 

BREAHT HOLDING LEVEL 1

 

HOW DID THE EXERCISE FEEL?

 

Were you able to do the  workout comfortably, without feeling forced to yourself?

 

Always remember to stay at a comfortable level during the exercises and make only up to the level described in the exercise. It develops you the most.

 
DAY 1

THE CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

30-45 min - No equipment needed - Day 1/4

By regularly stretching your upper body muscles, breathing feels more natural.

 

4. STRETCHING

10 min - No equipment needed - Day 1/4

OBJECTIVE

By stretching your upper body muscles and the diaphragm, you can increase mobility in your rib cage and allow the respiration system to function naturally.

 

The vagus nerve is responsible for regulating the rhythm of breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, for instance. Good mobility helps stimulate the function of the vagus nerve.

 

SUMMARY

Keep the stretches gentle but purposeful. Use your breathing to control the intensity of the stretch. Gentle stretches are the key to faster progress. Stretching should never cause pain.

EXERCISES

1. Neck stretch

2. Thoracic spine stretch

3. Side stretch

4. Chest stretch

5. Tricep stretch

6. Diaphragm stretch 

 
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NECK STRETCH

1.

Sit or stand in a relaxed position. Relax, taking a few breaths as normal. in a relaxed position. Relax, taking a few breaths as normal.

  

2.

Place your left hand on the crown of your head. Using your hand, gently tilt your head to the left.

 

3.

Move your right hand away from your body, reaching diagonally toward the floor. Feel the stretch in the side of your neck.

 

4.

Bring your right hand behind your back. With your left hand, grab your right hand. Using your left hand, pull the right hand to the left. Tilt your head to the left. Stretch.

5.

Repeat on the other side. 

 

NECK STRETCH

 
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THORACIC SPINE STRETCH

1.

Sit or stand in a relaxed position. Relax, taking a few breaths as normal. 

  

2.

Bring your hands behind your head, fingers interlaced.   

 

3.

Inhale and gaze up toward the ceiling. Bring your elbows backward and push your chest forward. Keeping your shoulders relaxed feel the stretch in the entire rib cage.

 

4.

Breathe out and push your elbows toward each other, rounding your back. Relax and let the weight of your arms stretch your neck and your upper back.

  

5.

Repeat five times.

 

THORACIC SPINE STRETCH

 
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SIDE STRETCH

1.

Sit or stand in a relaxed position. 

  

2.

Interlace your fingers, turning your palms upward. Bring your arms above your head.  

  

3.

Reach up to the sky with your hands. Push your shoulders toward the ears. Bend the upper body sideways to the right.

  

4.

Breathe normally and relax. Feel the stretch along your right side.

  

5.

Repeat on the left side.

 

SIDE STRETCH

 
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CHEST STRETCH

1.

Sit on your heels or stand in a relaxed position.

  

2.

Interlace your fingers behind your back. 

  

3.

Gaze up toward the ceiling, reaching back diagonally toward the floor with your hands. Push your chest forward. Keeping your shoulders relaxed feel the stretch in the entire rib cage.

  

4.

Breathe normally and relax.

 

CHEST STRETCH

 
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TRICEP STRETCH

1.

Sit or stand in a relaxed position. 

  

2.

Bring your right hand behind your head and reach down towards the floor.

 

3.

Grab your right elbow with your left hand, and gently push your hand downward.  

 

4.

Bring your head back to the upright position, gazing forward. Relax the shoulders.

 

5.

TRepeat with your left hand.

 

TRICEP STRETCH

 
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DIAPHRAGM STRETCH 1

First, repeat the diaphragm stretch several times at your own pace. With each repetition, let out a little bit more air. The more empty your lungs are the more powerful the stretch will be.

  

Find out the level of stretch suitable for you. You should feel a gentle stretch in your diaphragm. Stretching should never cause pain. Make sure not to stretch too intensely!  

  

1.

Stand with your legs apart. Bring your hands on your thighs, above the knees.  

 

2.

Gently blow air out of the lungs and lean forward against straightened arms. Don't empty your lungs too intensely or excessively. The more empty your lungs are the more powerful the stretch will be.

 

3.

Relax your abdomen and lift your diaphragm up. Your upper abdomen is, in a way, sucked up in your rib cage.  If you can’t feel the stretch you can assist by pulling the navel backward and upward, toward the spine.  

  

4.

Push the lower ribs out to each side. The rib cage broadens. Relax your abdominal muscles. Let your diaphragm stretch.

  

5.

Push your abdomen outward. Return to the upright position. Breathe in.

  

No need to worry if the stretch feels difficult. As the exercise program proceeds you will become aware of your diaphragm and learn how you stretch it.

 

No need to worry if the stretch feels difficult!

 

DIAPHRAGM STRETCH 1

 

ALL EXERCISES OF THE DAY HAVE BEEN COMPLETED

 

The purpose of the pilot is to gather feedback and develop the training program to be pleasant.

 

In your feedback, give 1 to 5 stars how you felt after the workout.

 

In the text field, you can tell which exercise produced  challenges or what you particularly liked or did not like.

 

Do you think the instructions were clear?

 

Do you think something was too much or did you miss something?

 

If you have any questions about the pilot, please email your questions to  johanna@johannanordblad.com