One of the keys to getting the most out of your body weight training program is learning how to properly brace your abs. I recently got together with a Chiropractor friend of mine to shoot a video tutorial for his patients on this topic, and I thought I’d share what we covered here with you; I’ve also included a transcription of the video below it.
“Forest here from Forest Vance Training in Land Park, CA. I’m here today to talk to you about how to brace your abs properly.
I know that one of the first things that Dr. Bell goes over with you guys is how to activate your abs, when you’re doing all these basic exercises like planks, crunches, sit ups, etc. The most basic and critical step of getting the most out of your ab training is being able to recruit your core muscles and use them properly.
Remember that quality is always more important than quantity when it comes to core training. (In other words, you’ll get a lot more out of doing three sets of 10 of high quality crunches than you will from doing 1000 low quality, half-range ones.)
So, I’m now going to show you a basic and very effective drill for learning how to brace your abs. All you’re going to do is start by lying on your back. You can either roll up a towel and put it underneath your lower back, or you can just use your hands and place them underneath your lower back.
Now, imagine crushing your hands. Put as much pressure as you can on your hands with your lower back – you’re going to feel your abs brace and contract when that happens. You will also feel all those deep core stabilizers tightening up.
What you’re going to do is crush your hands a little with your lower back, then you are going to progress to picking up your right foot and straightening it out. The goal of the drill is to keep pressure on the hands (or the towel) throughout the entire drill.
Then we are going to back down, take a second and relax for a little bit if we need to. Brace the abs again, pick up the left foot. Straighten it out. Remember that the goal of the drill is to get the ‘feel’ for bracing your abs – and to be able to transfer that over to doing other sorts of functional activities like squats, push ups, etc.
That’s all I have for you today – thanks a lot for checking out this video and I will talk to you next time!”
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P.P.S. The ab activation drill above is just a tiny sample of what you’re learn in the No Gym? No Excuse! 5 Minute Abs program, a cool bonus you get with my No Gym? No Excuse body weight workout system … to learn more about it, click here