This might be the most important article you read about health and fitness.
If you have partaken in almost any fitness program within the past 30 years, you’ve most likely been given the advice to brace your core to “protect your back” — which makes sense based on how Western science has come to study the body.
You have probably done this before and have felt relief further convincing you this is helpful.
On the surface it makes sense.
When bracing your core, the muscles involved in that action, flex the hips, pelvis, and spine.
This bracing prevents the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex from “moving” and by that logic, “stabilizes” things.
Here’s where the logic starts to fail us.
Where the problem develops from this advice, is it doesn’t take our entire body and movement into consideration.
These muscles now consciously engaged actively holding the hips, pelvis, and spine in flexion, never fully allow the hips, pelvis, or spine to achieve neutral positions with movement.
If the mechanical breakdown isn’t enough to start poking holes in this reductionistic constructed logic, let’s dive deeper to the real problem to see things clearly.
Every rep now with this conscious excessive flexion bracing, is changing how your entire body drives motion.
In other words, we severely hinder our ability to drive motion through the hips — the core and spine hijack motion and become primary movers and our hips start to become secondary moves.
Over time, this leads core muscles and back muscles that can’t relax.
Hips that have been trained to be tense and ridged to “protect” the back now placing excessive demands on the back for simple functions.
Hips and spines can no longer find neutral positions of balance as flexion becomes their “new” neutral.
This reduces or completely eliminates our ability to extend the ankles, knees, hips, pelvis — our natural spinal curves are lost, and vertical function becomes compromised.
Meaning, we can no longer stand tall and move with ease.
No exercise in our online program teaches core driven/bracing mechanics – if anything, every movement teaches you to relax the core and drive from the hips again.