Improve Your Bracing
So there’s a couple of ways that we can improve our bracing techniques. One of these is using a lifting belt. Now, a lot of people say that you shouldn’t use a lifting belt unless you’re dealing with maximal loads, but they can also be a great proprioceptive tool if used correctly.
Put your belt on like you normally would, but just keep it loose instead of tightening it up, now this allows you to feel the belt around your core with 360 degree pressure and it gives you something to breathe out into. Just to give you that awareness of what is around your core and around your stomach.
The whole point of this is to breathe down hard into the diaphragm and pretend like you’re expanding a balloon. You should feel it in your sides as well as your back and just breathe into the belt as hard as you can, hold this and then release like you normally would.
Now you can practice this while doing your squat and deadlift and the belt itself is actually not offering any support, but it’s allowing you to be aware of your breathing and your bracing.
Another great exercise that you can try for improving your bracing is lying on your back, put your feet on the floor with your knees in the air. Put one hand on your stomach and one hand on your side and practice breathing down into your diaphragm and feeling your stomach rise. Then you want to hold your breath and slightly breathe out to the count of ten and repeat.
If you want to make it a little bit more difficult, get a plate, put it on your stomach to add a little bit more resistance and do the same thing. So you’re breathing down into your stomach, feel your stomach rise, you feel that pressure in your sides as well, and then count out to ten. If you want to make it even harder you can count out to 15 or 20 or increase the weight.