Talking about the core today. When you hear the words contract your core what is your first instinct? Do you suck your stomach inward or do you push your stomach out? If you are an inward sucker try taking a deep breath while contracting is it easy or do you find yourself getting stuck and it feel impossible? Let's talk about you inward suckers. When you do that it destabilizes your spine. Imagine this scenario. If a castle is under attack and the only way to get in is through the front gate would you tie a rope towards the inside of your castle and increase the tension therefore making it easier for enemy to break in? I hope not, so why do you allow your core to suffer?
Instead we need to BRACE the door to keep them out. Bracing is hard to learn. However, our body does this automatically in certain instances. Coughing, sneezing and laughing are a few of those instances. Try it, cough and feel what your stomach does. If this is the automatic way your body contracts the core when in need for protection wouldn't it make sense to listen to our body and not work against it? So start bracing. Cough and hold that position of your core and take some deeper breaths with it you should find it easier. This form of core contraction is what you should be doing with every physical activity, especially weight lifting! Without proper stabilization you are increasing the risk for musculoskeletal injury!
Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP®