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Nova Performance Weekly Blog

by Adam Smith on Aug 27, 2021


Bracing your core.

The brace is a cue before performing a big compound lift, I.E : Squat, Deadlift, Clean ECT.

Bracing is when you are somewhat tense for the lift to ensure constant tension and pressure within the abdomen area, as if you were about to get punched by Mike Tyson.

An effective brace can set you up for unlocking bigger lifts but it is only a puzzle piece in the bigger scheme of it all.

But still one of the fundamental parts to throwing some heavy tin about!

The breath in is the second piece to this big puzzle, with the big breath comes the effective brace. Everything you do in lifting whether it be a squat or a tricep pull down all requires a good level of core strength and that comes from a good brace.

The core has two main functions, redistribution of tension; think of this as like suspension on a bridge, the cables themselves are not tight to begin with, however they can support the weight of the bridge below through distribution of tension like in a plank.

The other function of the core would be redirection, in the way of redirection of force.

Power that is created in the lower body can only be moved along the kinetic chain through a core that is tight and stable.

Just think of ‘the two R’s’ when keeping tension within the core. When competing in the olympic lifts it is key to remember both these ‘R’s’ and keep them in mind.

With redistribution of tension, as the initial lift from the ground starts, you need to keep tight to move the object from rest e.g. the barbell off the ground.

As the pull is initiated, a redirection of force is necessary to finish the pull and get under the bar. Bracing your core is the only possible way to create enough tension so that your core and torso don't fold under the load.

Bracing the core through breathing is mostly seen in Strength Sports such as powerlifting, Weightlifting and Strongman. where the competitor/athlete will wear a belt.

With the belt on, you will often see them push their stomach out against their belt or even out over the top and bottom of the belt, to ensure constant tension in the abdomen area.

In my opinion you should only start using the belt on 80%+ lifts. Nothing before as we need to learn how to brace ourselves before performing a heavy lift.

In conclusion bracing is filling this trunk of yours with enough pressure to ensure stability when performing a lift.


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