T Nation

The Core


#1

As my poundages on the squat and deadlift increase, it isn't my quads or hamstrings that give out. It seems like the biggest issue I keep having is that with more weight, my abs and lower back give out and my back rounds. Of course, I makes sure to get big air and hold it on the concentric, and lately I've even taken one of the site's author's advice and and done some full exhaling and inhaling in a paused position at the bottom of some of my warm-up squats to strengthen my abs.

I was just wondering what kind of assistance work and other tips guys here have for bringing up the abs and lower back in a way that helps with keeping tension there during the big lifts.


#2

Dragon flags, hanging leg raises, spread eagle sit ups, ab rollers from feet, medicine ball wall throws, turkish get ups, side hyperextensions, weighted planks, conditioning work


#3

Love hanging leg raises.

Also: side bends, front squat holds, fall outs, standing sit-ups, suitcase deadlifts.


#4

Love hanging leg raises.

Also: side bends, front squat holds, fall outs, standing sit-ups, suitcase deadlifts.


#5

Don't forget good mornings. Excellent for glute/hamstrings, and using your back/abs in an extremely specific way for your squat. It is also very similar to a very, very fucked up squat. Also possibly try squat mornings. Sit back while the bar moves forward, brace your abs very hard while arching extremely hard then once you can't do that anymore while keeping your arch squat down. I've also heard great things about side bends.


#6

Thanks for the responses. I will try a few of these suggestions out.


#7

suitcase walks, yoke walks, side planks, rollouts, reverse hyper/back ext.


#8

Could also be a tight mess in your hips, too. When you get to max loads, then the smallest pull from tight muscles can throw you out of position.

Tight internal rotators can mess w your back position in the bottom of the squat. Sit down on a table, knees together and move your feet out sideways away from one another, like a pendulum. You should get about 35 degrees away from the midline per shin. Are you close? Do the same thing with a tight back leaning forward about 10 degrees, does it get worse? how much?

I would still suggest working the core strength up tho, x2 to hanging leg raises bc you have to overcome any tightness in the hips and hammies to achieve a good position, which is a pain in the ass


#9

you could also try farmers, yoke, cambered bar squats and super heavy front squat holds.

i do lots of ab work, low back work, etc, and i can still be wobbly on a squat. i started doing more of the above items and i have become much tighter. it seemed it was more of a technique or muscles just not working issue than a strength issue.


#10

Oh, without a doubt I have serious issues with tightness in my hips. I've done a lot of work, particularly agile 8 drills, to work on it.


#11

Too much tightness is like someone pushing you forward on a really heavy squat, even a little will fuck you up.

Def head to mobilitywod and go kill it for some things that seem hard, I was doing one of them for the recommended 3-5 min each, but you gotta play catch up and knock out 30+ minutes total each day sometimes, and that helped me the most. Just break it up and make it happen frequently until it's easy to get into position without a warmup. And get stronger, of course


#12

Too much tightness is like someone pushing you forward on a really heavy squat, even a little will fuck you up.

Def head to mobilitywod and go kill it for some things that seem hard, I was doing one of them for the recommended 3-5 min each, but you gotta play catch up and knock out 30+ minutes total each day sometimes, and that helped me the most. Just break it up and make it happen frequently until it's easy to get into position without a warmup. And get stronger, of course


#13

Too much tightness is like someone pushing you forward on a really heavy squat, even a little will fuck you up.

Def head to mobilitywod and go kill it for some things that seem hard, I was doing one of them for the recommended 3-5 min each, but you gotta play catch up and knock out 30+ minutes total each day sometimes, and that helped me the most. Just break it up and make it happen frequently until it's easy to get into position without a warmup. And get stronger, of course


#14

Too much tightness is like someone pushing you forward on a really heavy squat, even a little will fuck you up.

Def head to mobilitywod and go kill it for some things that seem hard, I was doing one of them for the recommended 3-5 min each, but you gotta play catch up and knock out 30+ minutes total each day sometimes, and that helped me the most. Just break it up and make it happen frequently until it's easy to get into position without a warmup. And get stronger, of course


#15

One of the methods I've found for improving core strength and stability during the squat is to do timed holds at the bottom of a goblet squat. I kinda discovered this by accident while doing paused work during a deload week.

I'll take a heavy dumbbell and go as deep as possible into a goblet squat, holding that position while keeping the chest up and working on pushing my tailbone back. I'll then hold this position for as long as possible, keeping the dumbbell as high on the chest as possible before performing the concentric of the squat. Sometimes I'll then do another rep or two, though then it's really difficult.

Having to hold the dumbbell up and keeping it stable in that position puts a lot of stress on the abdominals and forces you to maintain the correct posture in the hole.

Edit: of course, this'll be limited by your equipment and your existing core strength. If you're already squatting 500 lbs and visit a gym that only has dumbbells that go up to 100 lbs, I'm sure that this won't build strength in the same way for you as it would for me.