From yesterday’s Cool Tip:
Big Breath, Tight Core
When you’re setting up for the deadlift, you need to take in a big breath and get your entire core tight. By getting tight, I mean getting your abs and low back set like you’re about to get punched in the stomach. By “bracing,” you ensure that your body is ready to move maximal weight.
I’d never really focused on this aspect of the deadlift. In fact, if anything, I would breathe out during the lift (something I’d been told to do…sometime…by someone…it was healthy or something). Anyway, it happened to be dead day for me yesterday, and this tip popped into my head.
The load went up so much more easily that I ended up adding 50 pounds to the bar before I even felt challenged again. I could easily have gone higher too, the weight felt light. To be honest, I stopped because I was worried about hurting myself with such a jump in weight; I couldn’t convince myself that it had become that much easier.
I guess before my floppy core was causing a serious weakness in the lift. Once I started sucking in air and bracing myself as if for a hit, I felt like I was made of steel, and the weight flew up.
If you’re not actively bracing yourself during deads, give the tip a try. I think you’ll be impressed with the difference it makes.