• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Sign in to follow this  
Chao-G

How to "Brace Your Core" Correctly?

Recommended Posts

I have been following a 5x5 training program for the past 6 months. The numbers have gone up as I expected but I am now trying to focus on improving my form further. Till now, the weight that I have been lifting has been rather light (although heavy enough for me to not be able to go past 5 reps), but I have now reached 175 lb on squat and 230 lb on deadlift, which is still light by a lot of people's standards, but rather heavy for me. I have started becoming rather skeptical about how I go about contracting my abdominal and lower back muscles during the squat and the deadlift. Here is how I do it:

 

- I take a deep breath, making sure I am not puffing my chest and shoulders during that

- I then pull my stomach all the way in, as tightly as possible

- While trying to maintain that, I perform the movement

 

However, I find that I cannot breathe while I have pulled my stomach in, and from whatever I have read and heard from reputable sources, you should be able to breathe properly while your core is braces and that is not the case with me. I just cannot continue breathing without letting go the tension in my abdominals. That means that I have to reset and and try to brace my core again after each rep. Where exactly am I going wrong?

 

I feel I have misinterpreted the meaning of "contracting" the abdominal muscles. Do I need to push my abdominals all the way out instead of pulling it in? Or am I doing it right but missing out on some impotant details

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Pulling in" is different than "contracting", in this sense. There are two mental cues that work for most people... one of them is a bit more juvenile than the other. 

 

Before you are about to get under the bar for a squat(whatevs) imagine someone is about to punch you in the stomach. You wouldn't suck in your gut to brace the blow, you would most likely puff out your abs just a little and try to contract as much as possible. Don't think of contracting just your abs, think of contracting your whole body around and into your abs. You're squeezing every muscle group around the core to make as thick and solid an object as possible out of your abdominal cavity. 

 

The other cue is to act like you're about to poop. Take breath into your stomach, not your chest. Then squeeze everything downwards in your abs. Farting whilst squatting is pretty normal because you're tightening everything in your core, which includes the muscles surrounding your intestines... squeezing out a fart or two. If you're squeezing as hard as you would on the John.. you're probably contracted pretty tight. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For squats and front squats, I think about breathing in deep,  holding the breath and squeezing my shoulder blades together. It has the effect of bracing lats and abs.

 

Bracing for each individual rep is fairly normal with the big lower body lifts. Not many folks can do multiple reps at heavy weights on a single breath.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Be careful not to force the air down. You may end up having to buy some preparation H if you know what I mean.😉

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, the panda speaks the truth. Just try to shit your pants. Don't actually shit your pants of course.

 

Make sure to drop the kids off at the pool before squatting or deadlifting.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Farting whilst squatting is pretty normal

 

I'm so glad you said that.  I've been quietly embarrassed at the gym due to my squat farts.  I've been thinking of reducing the amount of fiber in my diet to try and stop that from happening because of this lol.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been working on this too- it makes deadlifting so much more awesome. 

 

Think about taking a breath and fully expanding your stomach, and then using your core muscles to hold that expansion like a tough donut or innertube around your middle.  Basically you want to fill and stabilize the space from your ribs to your pelvis.

 

Actually, on my challenge for this round, I posted a video.  The bro in the viedo has a bunch of deadlifting tips, but I've been digging his "internal belt" analogy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never found the "stomach punch" cue much use... because I've never been punched in the stomach. 

The 'internal belt' cue was more powerful, and this video helped too, and actually I compare it now to something like a held ujayi breath in yoga.

 

But if punching/pooing work for you, go to it :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/10/2014 at 6:57 PM, Q_est said:

The 'internal belt' cue was more powerful, and this video helped too, and actually I compare it now to something like a held ujayi breath in yoga.

 

That video is super helpful! Bracing info starts about 5:52.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the idea of what helps my wife the most: 

 

she didn't get it from this video, but yeah, that's what works for you. For me its "squeeze so hard you can feel it in your ass"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this video by juggernaut training to be pretty good after using what it says I think my bracing has improved a lot and I've lost my butt wink (although I had to practice it a lot with just goblet squats as I found I had super tight hips, from years of bad form)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this