Do you store tension in your back and sides? Chances are, you’re not breathing as deeply and naturally as you could be, says fitness therapist Jill Miller. Try her quick move to discharge back tension and get relief…

How to tell if that’s the problem: You experience upper or lower back pain, side stitches or bouts of difficult breathing. The reason is likely because you have poor breathing mechanics.

What to do: Lie face down on the floor with a pillow under your abdomen. As you breathe slowly and deeply, “try to compress your gut into the pillow and let your body change the shape of it,” Miller says. “This helps the deepest muscles in your core to get stronger and more pliable and balanced.” Do this for one minute, then place the pillow up higher under your rib cage and repeat the breathing-and-compression exercise.

You can do this exercise any time of day, but it’s best to do it on an empty stomach—say, first thing in the morning or before dinner.

Core_Stress_copy_picPhoto courtesy of Jill Miller and Victory Belt Publishing from The Roll Model—a Step-by-Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility and Live Better in your Body.

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