Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne,EdgecliffMarrickville,Bella Vista, Randwick, Lindfield and Balmain take a look at breathing and bracing technqiues:

Bracing during exercise not only makes exercise safer, but it makes you stronger!

It is a technique taught by our Exercise Physiologists at in Drummoyne, Edgecliff, Marrickville, Bella Vista, Randwick, Linfield and Balmain.

Bracing during movements such as squatting, floor to waist lifting and pressing is an integral technique often overlooked which can affect your performance in the lift and can alleviate back pain when lifting.

What is bracing?

§ Bracing is the action of producing and increasing 360o of intra-abdominal pressure to activate the musculature of the core to maintain a desired position of the spine while moving and/or exposing the spine to load.

o Intra-abdominal pressure: Pressure within your abdomen created by an interaction of the abdominal wall and surrounding tissue.

Why brace?

§ Bracing is important to hold the torso in a position that is most efficient for a particular movement such as a squat or deadlift. During a heavy squat, it is important to brace before you lower yourself and maintain this the entire movement. This will keep you in a strong and safe position where you can generate more force due to the tension built within your abdominal cavity. This is the same for deadlifting, and you brace at the bottom of the lift.

How to brace?

Before trying it during exercise, try it laying down on your back. What you’ll want to do:

1. Lay on your back, legs extended

2. Take a deep breath and fill your stomach with air.

3. Slightly bring your ribs down to your pelvis

4. Squeeze your stomach as if you’re preparing to be punched while also tensing your lower back.

a. You should feel the space between the floor and your lower back decrease.

I’m having trouble!

If you’re struggling with filling out your torso (tensing stomach & back), try this:

· Place a TheraBand under your lower back, with majority hanging out

· Have someone hold the TheraBand

· Brace your core to fill the space with your lower back and the floor to hold down the band

· Ask the person to pull the TheraBand, if you’re able to fil the space, the band will not slip.

During exercise

Before performing an exercise where bracing is beneficial to safety and performance you should follow the same steps as you would if you were laying down. A few easy ques to remember:

1. Take a breath and fill your stomach with air.

2. Bring your ribs slightly to your pelvis.

3. Tense your stomach and lower back.

This kind of core activation should be used in many exercises, even without weight, such as shoulder taps, dead bugs, side planks, and bird dogs. You do not necessarily have to take a deep breath, but the concept of bracing the entire core, not just the abdominal muscles will increase the benefits of these exercises, while providing an opportunity to practice engaging your core so that you can brace efficiently when it comes to lifting weight.

If you are struggling with some lower back pain while squatting or deadlifting, give this a try!

If you need further help with bracing, or getting active in general, our Exercise Physiologists are experts in prescribing exercise addressing your individual challenges and goals.

1300 964 002

Written By, Guy Beynon