T Nation

How to Stabilize the Spine?

I’m starting to either squat or deadlift in almost every workout and want to make sure my technique is right. I’ve seen 2 different opinions in terms of breathing/stabilizing the spine and i would like to know which one is right?

  1. breathe in and and expand stomach for the bottom of the lift and during the upwards phase exhale but keep ur stomach out while keep everything tight
  2. breathe in and expand stomach for the bottom of the lift and during the upwards phase exhale and pull ur stomach in to stabilize ur spine
    -The first one is from Westside but the 2nd one makes sense because with pulling in ur stomach ur engaging ur transverse abdominis? Any thoughts/comments on this would be very appreciated

The breathe in and expand your stomach part is correct.

I do not exhale on my way up though, I’ve been told most of my life to keep my air in until I have finished a complete rep.

personaly i inhale and expand my stomach through the whole lift until locked out, then exhale. i think thats the best one IMO

They are talking about the same thing. Your TA acts as a sort of “natural belt” and you push your air against it when you engage it. You don’t pull your entire stomach in, nor do you push it out like you are trying to look pregnant.

Try this:
Take a deep breath (fill your lungs with air and take in enough extra to puff your face up) and then flex your abs. They won’t pull in like a bodybuilder trying to make his waist smaller, but rather constrict around your midsection and the air you are holding and keep you tight.

Hope this helps.

Expand your stomach by pushing it out and keep it that way through the rep.

Thanks everyone especially Stronghold. I will apply this technique when I squat tonight and will say how it worked after.

This worked out extremely well! The first time i squatted 225 was alil shakey but focusing on keeping everything tight i maxed out at 300 for parallel box squats