Alex Skinner – @AlexSkinner5
If you train with Zach Homol long enough you’ll hear the phrases, “stay tight,” “externally rotate” and “core tight.” These will eventually become a staple to your gym vocabulary. Now, he doesn’t just say these things to hear himself talk but he says them to help you become the most optimal lifter possible. One of the toughest things for me is staying core tight. Although I have a strong core, I’m still learning daily on how to engage it on my lifts.
When people hear the phrase “core tight” they automatically assume it means flexing your core. That’s not what core tight truly means. To become core tight on your main lifts, breath in a BIG breath of air and then brace your core as if you were trying to push someone’s finger out your stomach. It is important to practice this even on your warm up sets. Continual practice will help it to become second nature. This will lead to your body being in a stronger, safer and a more optimal position to brace yourself for heavy weights.
If your core breaks on your squat/deadlift it is a good indication that you either have a weak core, you don’t know how to brace your core or both. Learning how to brace will come with time. However, not training your core and hoping it miraculously becomes stronger over time, will not happen. That is why it is import to train your core at least 4-6 days a week. You don’t have to get fancy with it, just stay consistent. Below are some of my quick hitters that I usually choose from to train my core on a daily basis. Start training your core, learn how to engage it, and watch your numbers on lifts shoot through the roof! BOOM!
- 5×1 minute plank
- 100 total weighted crunches
- 100 total ab wheels
- 100 total toes to bar
- 100 total decline sit-ups
- 100 total weighted knee raises
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