Optimal Diaphragm Strengthener (ODS)

By conditioning your lungs and creating pulmonary resistance, your diaphragm is strengthened, thereby making your lungs work harder. When lungs work harder, the surface area and elasticity in the alveoli are increased, thus increasing your stamina and ability to go harder at your sport -- or simply have increased energy for daily living.

Provided they stay properly balanced amongst themselves, the stronger breathing muscles are, the less oxygen they require so they will borrow less from other muscles in the body. Our very special breathing resistance device was invented by a wind instrument player to strengthen the primary breathing muscle which needs exercise just like any other muscle. Expect a great increase in constitutional/gut/core strength as well when using the Optimal Diaphragm Strengthener.

Importance of the Thoracic Diaphragm

Often forgotten, this muscle is the most important in terms of athletic performance and all-around life and living. Extending across the bottom of your rib cage, this muscle separates your heart and lungs from your abdomen. It is fully responsible for controlling breathing in newborns, in part because it is the most efficient muscle in the body for breathing. Top class athletes understand this fact and try to strengthen their thoracic diaphragm in order to more fully control their breathing. But at what cost? Enter exercise induced breathing problems.

The reason it is necessary to strengthen this muscle is that it is a muscle that can easily weaken, allowing secondary muscles to overtake or distort its primary duty. Most adults do not use their thoracic diaphragm to its full potential due to the weakening of the muscle that arises from sedentary lifestyles and poor posture. Instead they primarily rely on secondary muscles to control breathing, which in turn causes inefficient oxygenation/CO2 balance.

For all humans including any type of athlete, especially runners or trail walkers, inefficient oxygenation of the blood from a weak thoracic diaphragm makes fatigue hit faster and harder. Additionally, the thoracic diaphragm assists with balance and stability, which are nearly equally critical. In short, this muscle has so much impact on human functionality that there is almost no muscle or system that is more critical to strengthen and balance.

To properly develop breathing we must enhance BOTH strength/conditioning AND VOLUME/EXCURSION or easier deepest breathing. 

ALL breathing resistance devices such as spirometers, altitude trainers etc., create/add tension in the thoracic cage via the resistance. 

Though these trainers may help conditioning-strengthening, this will often restrict breathing VOLUME and ease of deepest breathing. To achieve OPTIMAL BREATHING one must have BOTH Strength/Conditioning AND volume. The strapping techniques and other exercises in DVD2 help release the tension and restore the increased volume, balance and ease of deepest breathing. 


The diaphragm differs

from other skeletal muscles because it is the only skeletal muscle on which life depends. This muscle is able to sustain low, almost boring levels of contractile effort for a lifetime! During increasing levels of effort, as in physical activities where gasping, breath heaving, forcing the in or out breath and or tensions caused by physical exertion or trauma (including some thoracic surgeries), are involved, its endurance-time and volume related size may be drastically reduced. The Framingham study proved that volume and flow rate are really the primary keys to halting breathing deterioration or a major marker for anticipating life span. These factors often require very exacting training to develop or redevelop proper breathing.

Accessory Breathing Muscles

When one is strenuously working or exercising we often find that the accessory muscles of the shoulders, neck and even jaw are improperly engaged. When taking a deep breath look in the mirror and see if your shoulders raise, neck muscles bulge, collar bone raises or jaw or other facial muscles tighten. These are signs of overactive accessory breathing  muscles. They cause tension where tension should not be...with every deep breath. They can occur subtly and without our awareness.

A great deal of this awareness and development can be reached in a our self help programs. The next level would be our world class biofeedback instrument which takes the awareness/development/educational process to the most subtle levels imaginable. This instrument requires extensive training from an accountable health practitioner who knows it well. I personally own and use one. BUT I council to begin with our Self help approach as this can reduce or eliminate any need for other forms of breathing development.

So, in other words, when one is a shallow unbalanced breather or when one has a respiratory disease, attempts at inhale and exhale resistance breathers can cause these muscles to overdevelop, giving one an excessive usage and they become over tight and or connected to the primary breathing muscles, tendons and nerves: They get in the way of breathing , freedom, depth and ease.  Breath is life; breathing and life become harder.

Slow and fast twitch fibers of the diaphragm which are similar in structure and function to other skeletal or limb muscles and respond to the same conditioning stimuli as skeletal muscles, and they also tighten up/hyper-constrict.  Slow twitch fibers affect muscle endurance provided enough oxygen is delivered to them; fast twitch fibers, which affect muscle strength develop peak tension quickly and fatigue easily.  That is one reason why slower breathing often works better and longer than faster breathing. Both types of muscles respond to endurance conditioning but care must be given to "massage" the muscles to allow for the release of activity induced tensions. 


Think of your breathing as a part of the antenna system you call your body. As the breathing ease and effortless depth increases it becomes more capable of connecting with subtle body sensations, feelings and emotions; enhanced relaxed and refined feedback just naturally appears over time. You "be" your breathing instead of "do" your breathing.

Breathing Resistance Devices

Respiratory muscles fatigue during many activities. This leads to a decrease in performance. Studies by Prof. U. Boutellier, sports physiologist at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) and the University of Zurich, prove this in a most impressive manner.

In the past, it was assumed that physical endurance and exceptional performance were primarily limited by the heart and the cardiovascular system; in part also by the muscular system. This is why it was believed that the respiratory system did not impair the functional capacity since it was assumed that it had sufficient reserves.

The targeted endurance training of the respiratory muscles, however, does substantially increase physical endurance, resulting in a relevant increase in functional capacity. This is true both for top athletes as well as popular sports.

Our Breathing Tests statistics show us that most people breathe shallowly and over-breathe to compensate for that but the issue is situational so you may breathe great while relaxed but poorly when you engage in any of life's activities, depending. Most breathing resistance devices in the marketplace can do some good because they make you breathe more but the "more" is often unbalanced and leads to tensions and improper development of accessory breathing muscles; allowing/causing  excessive inhale or exhale force that invites breathing restrictions as well as possible exacerbate hyperventilation or other health issues. You may or may not get better conditioning but at the expense of volume, ease and relaxation potential.

Our Optimal Diaphragm Strengthener respiratory muscle trainer device was invented by a wind instrument player and so it is more gentle and self limiting than the others so that over-training is greatly reduced. It reduces oxygen consumption by the breathing muscles. The oxygen supply is now available to the peripheral muscles. Legs and arms will fatigue less (think lactic acid buildup) under stress and will produce fewer acid/alkaline issues at the same level of activity. Other benefits of the Optimal Diaphragm Strengthener include increasing air volume in and out of the lungs, increasing O2 intake with increased air distribution to the whole lung, as well as deep expiration with avoiding air entrapment to enhance getting rid of excess CO2 as well as what I term "debris" in the lungs. The more shallowly we breathe, the more debris builds up like a dirty kitchen sponge that needs to be repeatedly squeezed and released in a pool or stream of fresh water.

To reiterate, we use our breathing resistance device in conjunction with the DVD2 mastery process because the techniques in the video2 offset the tensions caused by the DS. Kind of like getting a massage after a workout, the mastery process releases tensions that the DS caused during the "workout." The mastery process can achieve great results by itself without the help of the DS but to avoid using it is to miss HUGE breathing development potential.  The DS or ANY resistance trainer must have the Optimal Breathing Self Mastery techniques and exercises to release and balance out the results of the forced in/out breathing resistance training and including spirometry.


  • Forces you to breathe more diaphragmatically
  • Isometric exerciser for lungs and diaphragm muscle
  • Strengthens the diaphragm
  • Decreases sleeping problems such as insomnia and snoring
  • Boosts metabolism and dramatically lowers appetite
  • Reduces the tendency for shallow breathing
  • As a result of fat burning, energy levels are increased
  • Develops lung capacity for full relaxed inhalation during quiet breathing 
  • Used regularly/properly, this device will help curtail smoking while at the same time increasing lung capacity
  • May aid troubled breathing
  • May aid hyperventilation syndrome/overbreathing.
  • May help to regulate abnormal low-level carbon dioxide or phosphate body shortages
  • Increases ability for longer and smoother tones
  • Increases ability for more accurate tones via longer and smoother breath support
  • Eliminates space between wind-based musical phrases - fewer pauses
  • Allows a musician to vocalize or play out more

Who can benefit?

Anyone who recognizes the replenishing, restorative value that comes with properly  balanced deep breathing, improved inhalation and exhalation, more energy, better sleep and much more.

How to works


To Recapitulate - The techniques, tools and exercises help expand the rib cage and to rebalance the upper and lower sympathetic parasympathetic hemispheres of the breathing mechanics. The ODS works to properly fill the space that the mastery process creates as well as properly work the diaphragm. That is why we require that people combine our Optimal Diaphragm Strengthener together with the Optimal Breathing Kit programs

Call us to order extra ODSs. 704-597-6775