Sucking in ≠ Bracing you Core
When you need to lift something heavy you probably intuitively know you should make your body rigid to protect it. Many times, however, the method for bracing your core gets confusing.
Here’s what it should feel like
- Take a breath in while imagining you are filling a ballon in your stomach with that air (You should feel minimal movement in your chest)
- Begin to exhale with some force, BUT do not let any air out
- This should create a strong amount of pressure in your abdomen
What’s happening and why is this important?
Bracing like this protects your back when lifting by creating intra-abdominal pressure. The diaphragm pushes down against everything in your abdomen creating pressure forward, out to the sides, and the back. We like to call this your canister. Think about how strong a full can of soda is. That is the type of pressure you want to create.
You might say well can’t I just use a belt to create this pressure and “hold me together?”
Nope! The belt is one of the best cue’s for performing this technique properly though. If or when you use a belt you should follow the same procedure laid out above, but now you will also feel the pressure as you press out into the belt.
Next time you lift something heavy in the gym or at home focus on using one breathe with each lift and creating a strong canister to save your back and lift more efficiently.
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