How to Activate Abdominals During Squats
Follow These Steps To Begin Bracing During Your Squat:
- Squeeze your glutes together
- Flex your core, as if someone was about to punch you in the stomach (pulling your sternum down towards your belly button—> as you do this take a big breath.
- The big breath needs to come from your STOMACH and NOT your CHEST.
To Teach Yourself Proper Abdominal Breathing and Not Inhaling Into Your Chest:
Try the Crocodile Breath:
– Lie on your stomach with your face resting on the back of your hands
– Breathe deeply so that your low back rises and NOT your shoulder and upper back
** You want to feel your abdominals pushing against the floor and expanding out sideways.
To Teach Yourself Pelvic Floor Contracting:
This is key to the concept of “bracing” your abdominals. A lot of people associate this concept by imagining you were going pee and had to stop mid stream.
Exercise To Practice Bracing:
- If you struggle with bracing, try incorporating planks into your workouts. This is a great way to teach yourself how to squeeze and keep the core tight.
- You can also do short planks 15s before your lift to create mind-to-muscle connection with abdominals.
By doing this, you are stabilizing your spine to allow for the heavy load on you back. This also forces your abdominals to activate and assist in the power of your lower extremities during the lift.
What Can Happen If You Don’t Brace:
- Can cause arching of the lower back or spinal flexing resulting in excessive compression on the posterior lumbar spine.
- Can lead to muscular imbalances and a weak core.