I wonder if you’ve ever thought about how many times a day you engage your core? I’m talking about all those muscles that sit waiting to be used in your midsection.
I know that when we first started lifting heavy, Jim would always say “engage your core.” And honestly, I always thought I was. But as I have progressed into heavier weights, I realized that I truly was not; small parts of my core maybe, but not as one big cohesive unit. Ding, ding, ding….a few months into training I finally got what he had been talking about the whole time. It’s truly taken me that long to figure out that when I have my core engaged, it enables me to lift more weight. Not to mention that it also helps protect my back and other areas, by helping me maintain correct form.
Jim uses a variety of different techniques and exercises that help us fire up our core and help us learn how to properly engage those muscles. Techniques include diaphragmatic breathing exercises that really force you to concentrate on keeping our “ribs down,” while really bracing our core completely. A few of the other exercises are: walking planks with 20 pounds of chain around our waist, plank on a ball while using your elbows to move the ball to write your ABC’s, and dead bug (more on that later).
On any given day during our lifts, it would not be surprising to hear Jim spout such things as, “get fat,” “use that core,” ‘brace,” and my all time favorite…..”dead bug.” I’ve seen more than a few eyebrows raise at those comments, but they really get our attention and make us focus on using that core strength.
Be sure to check out my Q&A later this week for more information about “dead bug.” And as always, please send your questions in. We want to hear what you want to know. Themissfitslex@gmail.com.