-“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!