It is the biceps, abs and pecs that get all the attention in the gym world, but these so-called mirror muscles are often outperformed by those that work in relative obscurity to improve many important aspects of our health. Among the under-recognised muscles that toil to protect our wellbeing are those that control our breathing. With each inhalation, the inspiratory muscles contract to draw air into our lungs, with the large dome-shaped diaphragm, the most efficient of them all, flattening and relaxing to deliver oxygen at an average rate of 12 to 16 times a minute.

With ineffective inspiratory muscles we are doomed. Yet they remain among the most overlooked of our body’s musculature, barely registering on a list of those we need to work

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