The Best Recovery Drill You’re Not Doing

Tucson Physical Therapy Warrior RX

As a physical therapist, I get all sorts of questions about stretching and mobility drills to help with a variety of aches and pains. While each area of the body has its various drills that are useful, one of the best all around drills is 90-90 diaphragmatic breathing.

As many of you know, I have been working towards starting my own physical therapy practice right out of Telos Strength. While I’m extremely proud of this moment, it has been a lot of work and a lot of stress. This increased stress has required more out of my recovery routine. The 90-90 with diaphragmatic breathing drill has been my go to at the end of the day because it helps restore not only my squatting depth, but also helps with my overhead movements and prepares me to get the most out of my sleep.

Why is this drill so simple yet so effective?

The position itself allows you to reset your low back and pelvis posture. Resetting this region will also allow your femurs to drop back into the hip socket and reduce anterior hip tightness. It also puts you in a great posture to practice diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing aides in rib and thoracic spine mobility, appropriate core activation as well as quieting your sympathetic nervous system. This allows for built in physiological recovery systems to operate and prime you for whatever happens tomorrow.

How do you do it?

  1. Lie on your back with your knees and hips each bent to 90 degrees. You can either have your feet on the wall or supported on a box/couch (foam roller between the knees optional)

  2. Curl your pelvis so that your hips are slightly off the floor

  3. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest

  4. Inhale fully with your belly hand moving first, then your chest hand second.

  5. Hold your inhale for 2-3 seconds

  6. Fully exhale over 6-8 seconds imagining pulling your rib cage towards your pelvis

Hang out in this position for a few minutes after your training session to prepare you for the rest of your day. Or spend 5-10 minutes here at the end of the day before bed time to optimize your sleep habit.

As always,

Own your movement, build your resilience.

Warrior Rx

Questions about your specific injury? I’m happy to talk to you about it! I’m proud to say that I have officially started taking clients at Telos Strength. If you have questions regarding my physical therapy practice or would like to get scheduled don’t hesitate to shoot me an e-mail: or visit my website at

Further Reading

  1. Managing Elbow Pain

  2. Fix Plantar Fasciitis Forever

  3. From the Ground Up: Feet