Squeeze in your core! You hear this a lot, especially in classes where we play with heavy weights. Upon hearing “squeeze in your core” most of you tighten up your back muscles so much that your torso bends back. This happens because you don’t engage all of the muscles in your torso. Simply said your back is tight but your belly is not. Can we safely lift heavy weights when our bodies are in this position? Nope. So let’s take a look how to tighten our core right so that we can lift our next PR soon.
Loading our spine with a heavy barbell, or any heavy object, puts it into flexion. Bent back under a heavy load is not ideal, better case scenario is pain and a couple of days of rest, In worse case scenarios we need to see a specialist (doctor, physio, …). The worst are outstretched muscles, pinched nerves, dislocated discs, etc.
Spinal erectors are not strong enough for this kind of work out. To make sure our spine is safe we need to help them out by engaging other core muscles and breathing right.
- Flex your glutes
- Suck in your stomach – think about showing off your six pack (even the imaginary one). In order to check it, place your palm on your belly and flex, you will be able to feel if you are flexing enough
- Take a deep breath without losing the tension in your muscles. Hold it in and try to press your diaphragm against your flexed core muscles. If you do this right you will feel like exploding from the inside.
This positioning (and inside tension) stabilises your spine. Your core is tight and you are safe to reach your new PR.