There are many factors that play into how well you can squat. One of them, and the one we are focusing on today, is core strength and stability. A weak core, inability to brace well or a broken stance can leave you susceptible to unnecessary injury – especially when squatting in a back-rack position. So in order to squat safer, better and eventually heavier, let’s focus on building up our core (front/side abs and lower back)! Here are some movements that you can add into your daily warm up or use as a workout. And below are additional sources that talk about squat technique and core strength.
Build these into your warmup or cool-down routine to see some major change in your core stability. Core stability DOES NOT mean having abs, it means having a strong core that can stabilize you when lifting heavy and performing daily tasks, prevents injury and assists good posture.
You need to have a strong core to: – squatting – lift weight overhead – stand up for long periods of time without straining your lower back – holding your sweet babies without stressing your lower and upper back – yard work, carrying things, cleaning the house, etc. A strong core is the foundation for so many movements!
Goal # of reps ** do 2-5 rounds for a warm-up, or 3-5+ for a workout
Dead Bug // :30 seconds each round
Plank // 6 rounds of :30 second hold, or 3 rounds of 1:00 minute hold
Alternating Extension // 12-20 reps each round
Cat/Camel // :30 seconds each round, slow and controlled movement
Supine Butt Lift // 15-30 reps each round
One-Leg Extension // :30 seconds EACH SIDE, both sides = 1 round
8 Best Ways to Improve Your Squats by Muscle & Fitness
If your core is weak – all of the muscles that surround your torso from the shoulders to the knees – then you will be more likely to fall forward when you squat. You need a strong core to stay tight and keep your torso as straight as possible when you squat.
50 Ways to Increase Your Squat by Strong Lifts
#7. Strengthen your Abs with: Turkish Get-Ups, Front Squats, Zercher Squats, Overhead Squats, Windmills, Waiter Walks, Weighted Roman Chair Sit-ups…
Triple Threat Core Training by T-Nation
The way you brace your midsection can have a profound effect on your performance in the gym. When you brace correctly, it immediately boosts your strength during powerlifts, Olympic lifts, and many other resistance exercises.
Think of your midsection as being a plastic water bottle that’s empty. When nothing’s in the bottle it’s easy to squeeze and smash it. But if you fill that plastic bottle with cement, it becomes rigid so you can’t compress it. That’s what happens when you bear down and increase intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) – it keeps the midsection rigid and transfers high levels of force throughout your body.
Importantly, the abdominal brace shouldn’t trigger tension in the traps or face, and it shouldn’t make you short of breath. You need to learn to brace and breathe normally.
It takes a little practice to learn to “breathe behind the shield,” but usually no more than a few minutes. When you master the abdominal brace, it locks the ribcage over the pelvis and limits excess motion of the lumbar spine while training. This allows you to lift heavier weights while protecting your discs.