Too often I hear people complaining about aching lower backs, hips and told of little niggling injuries after performing deadlifts, squats and power lifts.
In most cases these shitty problems can be avoided by performing a simple step by step set up process that will allow training longevity by ensuring lifts are more proficient
Here are a few tips and cues on how to brace or "turn on your core" when performing movements that require a strong, stable core so you can perform lifts & other movements correctly which will help you remain injury free.
Think of the core as cylinder or balloon type structure that is made up of four major muscles, the Diaphragm, the Pelvic Floor, Transverse Abdominis & the Multifidus which all play an important role in spinal stability
Simply put bracing is the ability to keep tension throughout your core & torso so that your body doesn’t collapse on its self during lift.
How to Brace Like a Pro
STEP 1 - is to release all the air out of your lungs trying to bring your ribs down to your pelvis and your pelvis up to your ribs which will help create a nice neutral alignment of the spine, don’t hunch over!
STEP 2- is to hold your breath to maintain intra abdominal pressure.
When doing major lifts like a squat, deadlift or heavy powerlifting, it’s vital that pressure is maintained internally by holding your breath throughout the lift, then if needed take a breath or two and reset before your next rep
Bracing for lighter lifting or muscular endurance type movements like push-ups or planking is vital also.
So to ensure muscles get their oxygen supply (and you don’t turn red, purple and green from holding your breath too long), short shallow breaths or what I like to call “crocodile breaths” will help maintain that core stability and allow you to perform the moves longer
THE GAME CHANGER !
Many people feel as if they’re bracing but the amount of intra abdominal pressure created compared to the weight lifting is often insufficient ....
So to really amplify the amount of abdominal pressure, l like to give the queue of putting your fist against your mouth like you are trying to blow up a balloon that simply won’t blow up WITHOUT RELEASING ANY AIR!
The initial reaction from my clients is often priceless when they feel that dramatic increase in internal pressure, though they soon realise that they have tapped into a new powerful internal part of their bodies.