When your torso doesn’t move well with you – bracing at the right times and moving at the right times – you may start to notice symptoms. In this short blog, you’ll learn a simple movement you can do to build your ability to brace your torso muscles and create more support for the area.
What’s The Best Core Exercise?
First, let’s stop calling it “core”. Your middle of your body is so much more than just a small section of muscles. Think of how your torso helps you breathe, protects your organs, helps you urinate and defecate, assists you in picking things up, carry things, and doing activities from dancing to running to pushing a lawnmower. Your torso is amazing! It’s why Strong Torso is one of the Six Pillars of an unbreakable body.
So what’s the best torso exercise? There isn’t one. ‘Best’ is dependent on the person, their needs, and their current ability level. There are a variety of useful movements and drills to send signals to your torso about how you want it to respond.
The movement I am sharing with you in this post is to help you learn how to brace your torso better and with greater strength. You brace your torso (or, you should be) when you do a number of normal daily activities, from carrying your child to pushing a lawnmower. And you brace your torso when you do sports or fitness activities, as well.
But since bracing while doing something else is more complex, it’s good to take a step back to something less complex first.
No matter if you consider yourself a beginner or more experienced, this movement can be useful.
How To Do The Hands To Knees Press
The Hands To Knees Press comes from a program I created called Unbreakable Body: Jump Start. This movement is a foundation building movement and is doable at home without any equipment.
I’m including both written instructions and a video demonstration and I encourage you to read the focus points I’ve written here along with watching the video…there are often small details that are invisible in the video but that make a difference!
Focus Points For The Hands To Knees Press:
- Lay on your back with the back of your head resting on the ground. Use a pillow under your head if need be.
- Lift your legs so your thighs are perpendicular to the ground. Notice what your pelvis did, if anything, when you lifted your legs.
- Can you make it so your pelvis rests on the ground with light pressure connecting the back of the pelvis with the floor? You might have to adjust your pelvis by rolling it back into the floor if it started off being tipped far away from the ground.
- Your knees can be either at a 90 degree angle or bent to make a smaller angle so that your feet are closer to your glutes. The former is more taxing, the latter is less taxing.
- Place hands on your thighs, just above knees. If you can’t reach your thighs, you can put a pillow against them and press your hands into that.
- As you start your next exhale, start to push your hands into your thighs and create similar pressing coming from the thighs into the hands.
- Press your hands and thighs into each other for 5-10 seconds, and try and continue the exhale for the duration of the pressing.
- As you do the movement, sense how your body is responding. Do you feel the tissues around your torso working? Do you feel your low back or hip flexors doing all of the work? Did you tense your neck or jaw muscles? Did you try and curl up like an old fashioned “crunch” exercise? All of these responses from your body tell you something useful.
- While the objective is to feel the bracing effect of the muscles around your torso, it’s not wrong if you feel it somewhere else. You just might want to tinker with the movement a bit to see if you can find the bracing sensation around your torso more than you feel other sensations.
- Over time, see if you can increase the intensity of the pressing while maintaining the bracing sensation in your torso.
Get the guidance you need to build your body to be unbreakable.
Unbreakable Body: Jump Start teaches you the movements,
all you need to do is follow along.