Episode 28: Kat and Jill Breath
Air date: February 10, 2017

Your favorite roller derby physical therapist is back again to talk about breathing! Jill and Kickit chat about why breathing is the most important pattern you’ve got, how to position your body for more symmetry and better breath and movement patterns, and why belly breathing isn’t really your friend.

Jill Nye the Science Guy has been a physical therapist since 2008 and an athletic trainer since 2004. Before that, she was a sprinter, softball player, and violist, so movement has always been a big part of my life. When she picked up roller derby in 2012, she got to apply everything she’d learned to her own athletic development and injury rehabilitation. She also noticed that in the DIY culture of derby there was a lot of bad information and misconceptions about training and self-care. Now she’s on a mission to rehab skaters and help them meet their performance goals, no matter what level they are at.

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What Happened When

  • 2:40 Really? A whole episode on breathing? Here’s why: I might do 20 situps a day, I might do thousands of pounds of volume doing heavy back squats and deadlifts, but none of that even stands a chance of countering the 24,000 reps of breathing we take every single day. Also: It’s the mundane, the repetitive, the static, that gets us into trouble. Kickit adds: Y’all gotta pay attention to this thing that you do all the time!
  • 5:00 Why we have to pay attention to our breathing with our lifestyles they are now. We don’t have to do necessarily a complicated physical therapy program or extra or different training; if we just check in regularly then that desk job won’t be slowly bringing us closer to a dysfunctional state with every single breath.
  • 7:30 Jill Nye lives up to her name, talking science and how and why breath is asymmetrical.
  • 9:30 Why our body bulks out our right side… and at 10:50 why the left side is the way it is.
  • 11:50 The cumulative effects of asymmetry, good and bad.. The subtle action of all this asymmetry creates a very tiny twist to the right, every single time we inhale. The net result of any asymmetry in the system will always be rotation. Also: When we do activities like skating, like sitting in one position for too long, we tend to let our diaphragm take us into the most flexible and comfortable position, and that’s that right trunk rotation. Plus: We’re mechanical systems, it’s biologically and mechanically most efficient.
  • 13:20 So then, how and why paying attention to breath can be helpful, and why all sports in a circle go counterclockwise.
  • 14:45 You have the power to make every breath an opportunity to get better.
  • 16:10 Listener Polly Avarice inquired about Jill’s sleeping habits. Jill offers advice on how to balance your body in general to compensate for its breathing asymmetry.
  • 19:25 Specific sleep recommendations! Even five minutes in a better position is better than nothing at all.
  • 23:30 Jill offers some advice for folks who never feel rested, and also some quick asthma theories.
  • 26:00 Jill slaps down Kickit’s joke about using weird muscles to breathe, and explains some more science stuff about how bodies are pretty cool.
  • 28:30 Belly breathing: There’s a time and a place. But that’s like 3% of the time. There’s a gorgeous analogy about parachutes and the diaphragm and why belly breathing isn’t the best plan, as well as how belly breathing can relate to anxiety.
  • 33:05 How to properly blow up a balloon.
  • 36:40 A little discomfort might be the right way to go for lifestyle change and habit changing. The biggest thing that you can do is get yourself out of that comfort zone. If you feel “normal” you’re probably doing something that’s not OK for your system. And from Kickit at 37:25: The place where you’re wobbly and things feel weird? That’s where you’re learning things.

More About… Jill Nye

Jill Nye is Jill Anne McVey is Flat Mat Radio’s most frequent guest, because she’s awesome and knows a ton about bodies and derby and how they work together. She skates with Rat City’s Derby Liberation Front (Smash the State, Learn to Skate!), and has a physical therapy practice at Movement Systems Physical Therapy. Her derby coaching has earned monikers such as Kill Jill, Jill Sergeant, and Cruella de Jill. In addition to her body science brilliance, Jill is a rad DJ, a weight lifter, and parent to three spoiled cats.

More About… Lemony Kickit

Kickit is Kat Selvocki, an ex-Gotham skater and the owner and sole yoga teacher at Flat Mat Yoga. She likes butts, anatomy, and helping people get out of pain. (Well, in yoga classes, anyway.) In addition to teaching and practicing yoga, you’ll often find her skating, running, and snuggling with her pitbull.

Much Derby Love to: