bracing the midsection

Look, I'm not going to lie. There's a guy in here, "Lockout", that makes this one of the least productive and most boring places to talk training on the internet, and no one can be bothered to ban him. Buyer beware. Arguments about minutiae. Ad hominems. Appeals to authority. Training #1.

Moderators: John Henry Brown, duane hansen

bracing the midsection

Postby PierreSuter » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:23 pm

Been watching the youtubes lately, and bracing the midsection before a squat or deadlift seems to be a big thing these days. By bracing I mean taking a big belly breath, pushing out and flexing the abs. Supposedly keeps your core solid and stable through the lift.

Do you guys consciously brace like that?

Couple of things make me question the concept...

1. Through years of olympic lifting, reading all I could get my hands on, and more recently watching oly lift instruction by top lifters, I've never heard this bracing concept mentioned. Are oly lifters stupid and/or missing out on something? Doubt it.

2. Flexing your abs during a low back intensive exercise seems like it would oppose the low back muscles and make the lift harder. Like flexing your triceps during a curl.

Whatcha think?
"Constant dripping hollows out a stone."

http://www.springhillfitnesstn.com
PierreSuter
Lucky Pierre
 
Posts: 4550
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:11 pm

Re: bracing the midsection

Postby FMJ » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:39 am

I brace in that fashion. I used to brace by pushing my stomach way out but that did not work as well. This seems more natural.

My completly unqualified opinion:

1. Nah, olympic lifters are not stupid and not missing out (much). Most athletes brace that way unconsciously anyway. The belly breath often gets exaggerated by whoever demonstrates it. Most caoches would simply call it 'getting tight' or something like that. The terminology has just been clarified a little because many people suck at anything athletic and need to learn this when they are adults and have way less time to fool around. At least that's my take.

2. The whole abs and lower back flex thing creates hydrodynamic pressure in your torso. Like pressing on a water ballon from all sides. This transforms your lower/mid stomach/back area (I guess abdomen would be the proper word?) into a more or less solid block which is great for a lot of movements where you want to keep this area in one position. I would guess this could be problematic for movements where you actively have to uncurl your lower back because then the analogy to the bicep/tricep antagonism would apply. Just trying to do this without weight makes it harder for me to bend in any direction.

Edit: Hydrodynamic is the wrong word. Hydrostatic.
Last edited by FMJ on Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I hit you with your own pimp!"
FMJ
No one man should have all that chowder
 
Posts: 3040
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 3:27 am
Location: Germany

Re: bracing the midsection

Postby BLACKFLAG » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:16 pm

Been struggling to understand the concept for years, then january 2017 tore my groin/lower ab wall and took some time watching vids on the subject.
Had the idea of wrapping my waist/belly area with a light band during most of my sessions, then trying to do the "push-out" move during the actual working sets.
Take into account that until that I never used a belt (except ONCE in 2017 for a single set).
When I replaced the light band with an actual belt (which I had never used until then), it made the difference between hitting 1-2 decent sessions then feeling like a cripple, and being able to manage some insane volume once again.
User avatar
BLACKFLAG
Giovanni! No pulla da penis!
 
Posts: 7473
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 1:16 am

Re: bracing the midsection

Postby bugnett » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:36 am

I hired a pl caoch a couple months back and he has me doing a lot of work related to bracing. Haven't attempted heavy weights since I've been incorporating this work, but it does seem to be helping my squats feel more solid.
bugnett
Not Quite as prolific as McKloskey
 
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:07 am
Location: Great White North

Re: bracing the midsection

Postby PierreSuter » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:03 pm

FMJ wrote:Most athletes brace that way unconsciously anyway. The belly breath often gets exaggerated by whoever demonstrates it. Most caoches would simply call it 'getting tight' or something like that.


Good point... I suspect there is some unconscious bracing going on. Another thought... conscious bracing might not be necessary in oly lifting because your back is less likely to get folded in half pulling a 400 lb clean than it would pulling an 800 lb deadlift.
"Constant dripping hollows out a stone."

http://www.springhillfitnesstn.com
PierreSuter
Lucky Pierre
 
Posts: 4550
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:11 pm

Re: bracing the midsection

Postby PierreSuter » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:09 pm

BLACKFLAG wrote:When I replaced the light band with an actual belt (which I had never used until then), it made the difference between hitting 1-2 decent sessions then feeling like a cripple, and being able to manage some insane volume once again.


That's awesome BF! I've used a belt for years on heavy pulls and squats and definitely feel more stable with it, but I've never done the belly breath and push out thing. I just cinch up the belt and let my core do what it wants. Are you consciously taking in extra air and pushing the abs out into the belt as you lift?
"Constant dripping hollows out a stone."

http://www.springhillfitnesstn.com
PierreSuter
Lucky Pierre
 
Posts: 4550
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:11 pm

Re: bracing the midsection

Postby PierreSuter » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:10 pm

bugnett wrote:I hired a pl caoch a couple months back and he has me doing a lot of work related to bracing. Haven't attempted heavy weights since I've been incorporating this work, but it does seem to be helping my squats feel more solid.


I've tried it a few times but don't feel much of a difference. Maybe I just need more practice.
"Constant dripping hollows out a stone."

http://www.springhillfitnesstn.com
PierreSuter
Lucky Pierre
 
Posts: 4550
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:11 pm

Re: bracing the midsection

Postby PierreSuter » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:56 pm

I was doing planks the other day and found that bracing with a big belly breath made a pretty big difference... both in terms of making it easier and an overall feeling of stability. So I'm starting to buy into the whole bracing thing...
"Constant dripping hollows out a stone."

http://www.springhillfitnesstn.com
PierreSuter
Lucky Pierre
 
Posts: 4550
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:11 pm

Re: bracing the midsection

Postby randygillett » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:09 pm

PierreSuter wrote:
bugnett wrote:I hired a pl caoch a couple months back and he has me doing a lot of work related to bracing. Haven't attempted heavy weights since I've been incorporating this work, but it does seem to be helping my squats feel more solid.


I've tried it a few times but don't feel much of a difference. Maybe I just need more practice.

I think bracing is more critical if you are a chest down squatter where your spine is more subject to flexion. Back in the day when I could squat proficiently I was able to use my abs like a shock absorber between my belt and chest in the bottom of the squat. Between that and getting mamimum lungs-full of air (never much got into belly breathing) I could lift significantly more weight.
"whenever any animal's behavior puts it out of touch with the realities of its existence, it becomes extinct". ---- Michael Crichton
User avatar
randygillett
3000 and no tag? PM Snadden for a tag
 
Posts: 3194
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 5:01 pm


Return to Training

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron