Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-“I Can’t Brace My Abs!”-


Ask any Trainer – if a client can’t effectively “brace” their abs, it’s not a good thing.  Most people catch on to this after a while, however, there may be a few clients here and there who have difficulty with this.

I just wanted to share a few exercise “tweaks” that have helped one of my clients gain consciousness of the “bracing” sensation, thus making every exercise safer and more productive.  This particular client has had a harder-than-normal time with abdominal bracing.  We are working around a few postural issues which exacerbate this problem, however, I am excited because I feel exercises such as the two below have helped!

The first exercise involves the use of a stability ball when performing dead bugs (supine shoulder flexion with opposite hip/knee extension).  All you do is place the ball between the knees and palms in “starting” position (feet off floor, knees @ 90 degrees, arms pointed towards ceiling). Have client press knees and palms against ball. This facilitates a contraction that reflexively stabilizes/braces the torso, along with producing a posterior pelvic tilt! Ta-da!

The second basic exercise “tweak”  is to use a resistance band with planks and side planks. Loop the band around your client’s waist, and have client assume a plank position. You’re to their side, providing constant tension, which challenges them to hold the plank position and not give in to the pulling force. Same thing goes for side planks, but you’ll be pulling them forward or backward. Creates positional awareness and client can begin to correlate this with the “bracing” sensation.

On an entirely different subject…we just hit 9,000 hits yesterday! 😀  Once again, a BIG thanks!  I seem to be saying this more often lately…and I love it!

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5 responses

  1. Pingback: -”I Can’t Brace My Abs!”- « “Outside the Box” Training

  2. Debbie

    Congrats on your “hit” record. I know I’m a regular on your site and appreciate your straight-forward approach. 10k is not far away!

    April 1, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    • Thank you, Debbie!
      I’m glad you appreciate my approach…because this is ME! I can’t be any other way! I’m not about trying to hide my “secrets” and such…in the hopes of getting more people to listen to me or whatever. That seems to be a big ploy in the fitness industry and it makes me sick! There are NO secrets! There are no magical pills or potions or diets. There are no “amazing” exercises that target the fat on your thights/butt/tummy! I know I could sell-out and start making crazy claims like “I have all the answers to fat loss, and you won’t find them out unless you pay me $500!” LOL! Why would I wanna jump on that bandwagon, though? Enough people are getting ripped off and the misinformation is all over the Internet. I want to help make things easier for people! Getting in shape isn’t rocket science…yes, there’s a science behind it, but if you follow a logical approach, you’re sure to succeed! It’s my job to help people get there!

      April 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm

  3. lauri pasqua

    I cant find my abs!!! They are with my 6 pack of beer!

    Just wanted to leave a note – This is great!!! you are doing fantastic on this website. Proud of you my friend!!!

    April 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    • LOL! 😀
      Lauri, you’re a trip!
      Love you and miss you! You work too much…wait, I do too!
      We need to catch up soon!
      PS – if anyone needs help with life insurance or an IRA (or tons of other related things), Lauri’s your woman!

      April 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm

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