How many times have you heard your coach say that to you? Probably too many to count! But why? What do we mean by those two little words? And why is it so important?
Most of the time when we’re asking you to stay tight, we’re referring to the act of stabilizing your midsection. It seems counterintuitive, but in any lift that you do, your core is probably the most important factor – it can make or break the lift. Your max back squat will require some leg strength – sure! But even more important? Core stability. That snatch # you’ve been chasing? Strong as your arms may be, it’s not gonna happen with a loose midsection.
Why is the core so important? Think about it. The power in your snatch comes from your legs and hips (ahem, if you’re doing it correctly 😉 ). Your arms act as straps to hang onto that bar. The energy that you muster from your leg muscles must travel all the way up your body through your torso and down the length of your arms to reach that barbell that your hands are holding. If there is ANY looseness throughout your body, that energy is gonna get diverted and miss its intended target. If your body is tight, that energy has a straight path to complete it’s mission.
Core stability does not just mean tight abs. Staying tight can include your abss, chest, back, shoulders – anything that will give you great posture. Think of a cartoon superhero. They are ridiculously proud chested.
Their midsections DO NOT MOVE. They find it impossible to hunch the shoulders forward or curve the lower back cuz they’re too busy being awesome. Betcha they can lift a lot of weight with that posture!
The next time you’re standing in front of a barbell, no matter what lift you’re planning on doing, I want you to channel your inner superhero. Hold that chest high and proud. Straighten up that backbone and hold those abs tight. Be the super you were meant to be, and watch those weights fly!