If you’ve been lifting for a long time you’ve probably experienced that horrible feeling of your back buckling under load at least once. You approach the barbell, set your body into position, big drive into the floor and then “pop”! You feeling a shooting pain from your lower back and sadness fill your heart knowing that the next three months of training will only consist of only booty bands and weird stretches until your body heals.
There are several reasons as to why this happens (i.e. poor technique, too much weight on the bar, accumulating fatigue) and often it’s a combination of different factors rather than one single cause. However, one of the most overlooked causes is improper breathing and bracing techniques.
So what is bracing?
Simply put, bracing is the ability to keep tension throughout your torso so that your body doesn’t collapse in on itself during your big lifts.
Bracing is more than just squeezing your core muscle really tight too. It requires you to breathe deeply into your diaphragm while expanding through your ribcage to create enough intra-abdominal pressure to brace against your core complex.
The exact mechanisms may seem a bit confusing at first (I was a bit lost the first time I heard about this concept myself), however, you don't need to have a crazy deep understanding of bracing to benefit from it and see your weights go up.
Here is a simple drill a use with my clients as part of their warm-up to teach them how to breathe deeply and brace powerfully.
As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to either myself or your coach for life.