Protecting The Lower Back With Core Engagement

You have probably heard the term “engage your core”. But what does that really mean? 

Many people mistakenly equate engaging the core with sucking in the stomach. However, this is the opposite of what you want to do and is potentially dangerous as it actually de-stabilizes the core and disrupts proper breathing.



The goal when engaging the core is to create a solid mid-section, mainly to protect the lower back and other areas from injury. To do this, you must consciously activate the core muscles. 

The easiest way to describe this is to think of your natural reaction to a punch to the gut. 

For most people, the natural reaction is to tighten and brace the core to protect it. You don’t suck in, you clench up and make everything solid.

So the next time you deadlift or squat, think about consciously activating and engaging your core before and throughout the movement.

This can be tricky at first but it soon becomes habit, and it’s a great habit to have considering over 70% of American’s deal with lower back pain at some point in their lives.

Committed To Your Health,

Brian DonovanBrian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach, LLC – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personally tailored training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, and The PTDC as well various other health and fitness blogs.

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