Improve Your Bracing
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 keep it loose instead of tightening it up, this allows you to feel the belt around your core with 360 degree pressure and it gives you something to breathe out into. This creates awareness of what’s around your core and stomach.
The 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, hold this and then release like you normally would.
You can practice this while doing a squat and deadlift and the belt itself is actually not offering any support, instead it’s allowing you to become aware of your breathing and bracing.
Another great exercise that you can try for improving your bracing is lying on your back, place your feet flat 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. Hold your breath and slightly breathe out to the count of ten then repeat.
If you want to make it a little more difficult, get a weight plate, put it on your stomach to add a little bit more resistance and follow the same process. Breathe down into your stomach, feel your stomach rise and the pressure in your sides increase then count out to ten as you slowly breathe out.
If you want to make it even harder you can count out to 15 or 20 or increase the weight.