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Old 06-18-2014, 07:45 PM   #1
Kenneth Cheung
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sticking point - 'solid core'

I'm struggling with something really basic and i'm just not getting it.

my HBBS is a respectable 245(ish)lbs and my deadlift just hit 375lbs.

BUT, i'm really struggling with the concept of a 'solid core' - what i mean is - i know you're supposed to 'flex your abs' (not in a show-your-six-pack way; but in a 'push-against-a-lifting-belt way) - the problem i'm having is i can't 'feel' it. at the start and the end of any movement i really try and have that 'flex' but i seem to loose it, or at least not notice it's gone during the movement.

is there anyway/ are there any exercises i can use to gain more awareness of this, and improve it? or is it just a case of "keep trying"

i know its a basic and almost stupid question, but i'm really stuck on this one and i'm sure it's a big reason my lifts are stalled.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:26 PM   #2
Joe Spinelli
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Re: sticking point - 'solid core'

I am no expert in this field, but recently I read something like this:

all of your body's internal organs have a space inside your body. The only way to keep everything in its proper place is to take a deep breath and push out from all sides - pretty much what you are saying, but hard to put into words.

I find that on front and back squats particularly, if I breathe in before I unrack the bar, then out, then take a deep breath IN before I go, it helps me to do a better lift. I exhale at the bottom, but that holding of my breath before I go seems to help me keep everything in a better place.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:24 AM   #3
Brendan McNamar
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Re: sticking point - 'solid core'

What is your front squat?

How is your front squat form? Can you keep you elbows nice and high or do they dip?
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:33 PM   #4
Kenneth Cheung
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Re: sticking point - 'solid core'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Spinelli View Post

all of your body's internal organs have a space inside your body. The only way to keep everything in its proper place is to take a deep breath and push out from all sides - pretty much what you are saying, but hard to put into words.
i've found the same (thanks, its helpful) but i only seem to be able to get the 'sensation' when i use a belt. when i work without a belt, it seems like i 'forget' to 'brace the abs' half way through the movement. which is what i'm struggling with.
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:06 AM   #5
Kenneth Cheung
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Re: sticking point - 'solid core'

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Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
What is your front squat?

How is your front squat form? Can you keep you elbows nice and high or do they dip?
i'm lifting around 1RM 210lbs on FS (HBBS is around 275lbs).

I don't have an issue with 'elbows up' for short sets, but it deteriorates. having said that on lots of movements ppl have said i need to - 'head up'; 'chest up'; 'brace abs' - i assume all related - i'm just struggling to maintain it.

e.g. i'm aware at the bottom and the top of 'brace abs' but not in the middle... lifting belt helps but i can't 'feel' it if that makes sense.
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:04 AM   #6
Dakota Base
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Re: sticking point - 'solid core'

Practice loading your core when you're not lifting. You can do it while shadow-lifting, or while sitting on the couch. Suck in a deep breath, press out your belly button, then flex such that your obliques protrude outward and your belly button moves in and down. It'll mostly feel like you're trying to take a dump. That's what it should feel like when you build your interabdominal pressure.

Another trick that can help, pucker your glory hole like you're pinching off a loaf. That helps retain interab pressure, and will help bolster your vascular system to avoid headrush, bulging veins, and eliminate that building pressure in your head as you squat.
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:14 AM   #7
Dakota Base
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Re: sticking point - 'solid core'

375 Deadlift and 245 (or 275) back squat is pretty imbalanced. In general, you should be figuring your squat to be somewhere in the 80-85% ballpark of your deadlift. So a 375 Dead should squat 300-320lbs.

How's your ROM keeping your *** down when squatting? Are you doing a powerlifting style squat or an Olympic style squat?

When you say you're having issues with "head up, chest up, brace abs," I'm assuming that you're breaking down as you drop into the squat, so your bowing to the weight, not squatting it. Really just gotta focus on building your interab pressure at the top before you lift the weight off of the rack, then drop your tail without letting the load lean you too far forward.

Really sounds like you shouldn't be going for 1RM's right now, and rather working on correcting your form.
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:43 PM   #8
Kenneth Cheung
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Re: sticking point - 'solid core'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota Base View Post
Suck in a deep breath, press out your belly button, then flex such that your obliques protrude outward and your belly button moves in and down. It'll mostly feel like you're trying to take a dump. That's what it should feel like when you build your interabdominal pressure.
THx, i get that, i usually 'have it' at the start and the bottom of the movement but i can't 'feel' it mid-movement - i assume one should feel it constant throughout the movement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota Base View Post
How's your ROM keeping your *** down when squatting? Are you doing a powerlifting style squat or an Olympic style squat?

When you say you're having issues with "head up, chest up, brace abs," I'm assuming that you're breaking down as you drop into the squat, so your bowing to the weight, not squatting it. Really just gotta focus on building your interab pressure at the top before you lift the weight off of the rack, then drop your tail without letting the load lean you too far forward.

Really sounds like you shouldn't be going for 1RM's right now, and rather working on correcting your form.
ROM on HBBS is good, always below parrelle but not totally ATG yet (still 'butt winking' a little)

i used to do more LBBS (Powerlifting) but i've switched since (around 2 months)

i notice i bow a little but only when it gets to about 85% of 1RM, the rest of the time my form (with the exception of the 'solid core' *seems* to be fine - no issues with knee tracking, hips back etc.)

not been going for 1 RMs, ast time i checked was about 4 months ago, so the numbers are old, but i'm regularly hovering around my 85% hence why i've noticed this 'solid core' issue, and during the L1 it seemed that the coaches pointed that out on me the most... almost like i don't notice i've stopped bracing the core...its weird.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:53 AM   #9
Nik Nichols
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Re: sticking point - 'solid core'

for lack of a better way to explain it. push like when you are about to push out a poop. You will get the core feeling in the abs and instantly know the feeling.

Sorry for the graphic explanation but try it. Oh and try it befor you squat.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:02 AM   #10
Luke Sirakos
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Re: sticking point - 'solid core'

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Originally Posted by Nik Nichols View Post
for lack of a better way to explain it. push like when you are about to push out a poop. You will get the core feeling in the abs and instantly know the feeling.

Sorry for the graphic explanation but try it. Oh and try it befor you squat.
This could make for a rather embarrassing squatting session...

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