For those who are obsessed with how to brace and use the core, I think this is an excellent video Core Activation by Hans Lindgren to teach us to brace 360 degrees
It starts with the diaphragm as it pushes down to get intraabdominal pressure. A way of ensuring the right diaphragm pattern is to see the lower ribs expanding horizontally(0:32). I can’t remember if it was Chris Duffin or Bill Hartman who said that when you breathe you want to inhale horizontally and exhale vertically. When people classically breath up in their chest and clavicle this would be an example of what we do not want to see. This is inhaling vertically and all the secondary respiratory muscles turn on. Hans makes a good point on the people who breathe up in their chest that as they do so their stomach goes in and this overloads the muscles above their chest and then people wonder why their traps are so stiff. The student lays down on their back so he’s in a stable position supported by the floor/table and here we can observe the horizontal expansion of the ribcage. Now the connecting point is that we want the diaphragm moving the breath down to the abdominal cavity. He puts his hands on the ASIS (anterior superior iliac spine) asking the student to breath into his fingers to ensure the breath is complete as it moves down. Once the pattern is set the student has exhibited that he can create that pressure from the front and back and the next step is to automatize the pressure. The key is to maintain that pressure as he breathes out and never lose it. The ability to maintain this complete pressure exemplifies being able to consciously brace and we can apply this when we are under a load when lifting.
Chris Duffin has learned from DNS model and his thoughts are similar when he tells people to “Inflate the Obliques” (3:15) as this cue is a side effect of 360 degrees of bracing of his entire torso.
Back to the original video as Hans uses the thera-band as tactile feedback to teach the student to truly use his diaphragm to expand his ribs 360 degrees (2:42). Similarly, the purpose of a lifting belt is another example of tactile feedback to teach the lifter to force their torso to brace 360 degrees.The next position (3:30) is similar as he did on the table getting the person to take a breath at the bottom and focusing on maintaining that pressure and push against it.
At (3:58) we have the dead bug series still focusing on the fundamental key to holding and maintaining that pressure. Hans has the student maintain the position, building upon maintaining the pressure all the way down, as he moves his arms and legs. Another thing I want to point I think is fantastic because people forget to look for this in all their “Functional training” is Hans is teaching him to maintain the pressure in all planes. At (4:30) he pushes on his arms and legs also on the same side as if trying to flip him over to his side and hold the brace in the transverse plane and frontal plane. These are often the forgotten planes and are tough because we are not used to training in these positions(4:46). Also to continue the training, Hans has him resist him in the anti-extension of both the student’s arms and legs and even throwing in the resisted contralateral pattern that we see normally in the deadbug (5:07). These are all spices in the deadbug dish but Hans states that we must never lose focus of drill of the deadbug which is to have awareness of the position of the abdominal cavity and the chest position that is dictated by the ribs in bracing. The breath and pressure of the brace must be always maintained no matter what our limbs are doing.
At (5:20) Hans displays the wall supported DNS deadbug as a further progression as a way to integrate more parts to the complexity. This involves such getting the student’s lats turned on as his hands push into the wall. Again he notes to never lose the brace and points to his obliques (5:51) to make sure that he is not losing the brace and just not to mistake that you’re doing it right because your abs are on.
I feel the whole point is to automize this brace until it becomes a reflex as if someone was going to perturb your movement. I know this is something I definitely explore more and encourage you to explore it on your own or with someone.
Cheers and give Jeff Healy “Which One a listen. It’s awesome sauce!