Thursday, May 26

We’ve worked with a few of you individually on this, but I think this could be helpful for everyone.

Keeping your midline (core) tight is essential to keep your back healthy and move well. Bracing your abdominals keeps the spine from flexing and extending under load.

It seems like everyone knows you don’t want to round (flex) your back in a squat or deadlift, but it’s easy to overcompensate and extend your spine when doing these movements. What we want is a neutral spine, and a braced midline keeps the spine neutral.

Watch the video and read the description from Chris Spealler below. Hopefully seeing the difference between a neutral spine and an overextended spine in the squat and deadlift will help you stay tighter and keep a good position.

#weeklygeek It’s cool to geek out on movements, progressions, positioning… but where does all this movement start from? Our midline (aka… “core”). Learning how to properly brace your spine does two things. 1. It keeps you safe. Having the ability to brace our spine utilizing our back, abs, and hip flexors is important. It will keep our spine in a neutral position which is it’s safest, and strongest position which brings us to #2 2. It will help with performance. Why? It creates stability and rigidity through your trunk which allows for more power transfer into a movement or object you are trying to move. In this video you will see an example of over extension in both the squat and the deadlift. Sorry for the shirtless video but it’s easier to see an already difficult thing for some to identify. In the first two reps of the squat you will see me “roll” my hips over and over extend in my low back. This means my abs are essentially now turned “off” and I’m using mainly my low back to brace my spine. The following two reps show me keeping my belly tight and bracing with both my abs and low back. You don’t seen any movement in the low back as I break at the waist and knee because I keep my belly tight. The same things apply to the example in the deadlift with reps 1,2, and 3,4. If you see athletes doing this in something like a squat it’s likely to crop up in other things like an overhead position, pull ups, running, kb swings… the list can go on and on. Learning how to brace your spine by keeping a big breath of air and drawing your belly in can make a huge difference in your athletes safety and performance. A seemingly subtle thing is truly the start of strong, effective, and efficient movement. To see a full video breakdown go to iconathlete.com and click on “the vault” or chrisspealler.com and click on “the experience”. #iconathlete #teamspeal

A video posted by Chris Spealler (@cspealler) on

Workout for Thursday, May 26
Back Squat
3X3 @ 80%
3X2 @ 85%

For Time:
Row 900m
90 Double Unders
9 Power Snatches (115/85)
Row 700m
70 Double Unders
7 Power Snatches (135/95)
Row 500m
50 Double Unders
5 Power Snatches (155/105)