Relative Stiffness

Relative Stiffness

When we actively engage serratus anterior in core/ flexion based drills we effectively shut down the involvement of it’s antagonist muscles, of most note in this example the latissimus dorsi. This increased stiffness created by the serratus anterior effectively shuts down the lats ability to extend the lower back and drive the rib cage anteriorly. This is because the serratus anterior’s function is to shift the rib cage BACK and DOWN relative to the scapluae, the direct opposite effect the lat has on the rib cage of FORWARD and UP (extension of the lumbar spine and lower thoracic spine).

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How to Brace Correctly for Squats

How to Brace Correctly for Squats

This is the first step from a Low Threshold Learning Environment to a High Threshold Learning Environment. The lessons learnt and context developed in the 90/90 Hip Lift and the Plank must now be applied to a standing, slightly loaded, multi joint squat movement. The anterior load allows for the same posterior shift of the rib cage as felt with the REACH in the plank. This posterior shift allows for better rib cage and pelvic control in the sagittal plane also known as CORE CONTROL.

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Breathing is NOT Bracing

Breathing is NOT Bracing

For bracing to occur optimally we must stiffen the trunk and spine through muscular activation AFTER we breathe in. If the muscular brace was to be set before breathing in we would significantly reduce the amount of intra abdominal pressure that can be created because the rib cage would be compressed by the muscular activation of the rectus abdominis, obliques and lats. This compression would reduce the expansion of the rib cage and reduce the amount of air drawn in. You can sit there and try this yourself.. crunch down hard on your abdominal wall and take a full breath in, it will be significantly less air than if you sat and inhaled in a relaxed state. Bracing must occur AFTER the breath in.

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