Effects of breathing type on electromyographic activity of respiratory muscles at different body positions

Saúl Valenzuela*, Rodolfo Miralles, Hugo Santander, Ricardo Bull, Rosa Cordova, Isabel Celhay, Gabriel Cavada, Mario Felipe Gutiérrez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Aim: To compare the effect of breathing type on the activity of respiratory muscles at different body positions. Methodology: Two groups of 20 subjects each, one with upper costal and the other with costodiaphragmatic breathing, were studied. Electromyographic activity of sternocleidomastoid (SCM), diaphragm (DIA), external intercostal (EIC), and latissimus dorsi (LAT) muscles was recorded at standing and lateral decubitus positions during swallowing and maximal voluntary clenching. Results: All muscles showed higher activity during standing in upper costal breathing subjects except the SCM muscle. EIC activity was higher during standing in the costodiaphragmatic breathing group. Subjects with upper costal breathing showed higher DIA activity than subjects with costodiaphragmatic breathing at both body positions and higher SCM activity at lateral decubitus position, whereas, EIC activity was only higher during swallowing. Conclusions: Subjects with upper costal breathing presented higher respiratory effort than subjects with costodiaphragmatic breathing, being most prominent at the lateral decubitus position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-115
Number of pages6
JournalCranio - Journal of Craniomandibular Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Costodiaphragmatic breathing
  • Electromyography
  • Lateral decubitus position
  • Respiratory muscles
  • Standing position
  • Swallowing
  • Upper costal breathing


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