Bracing: not the kind where you break a limb and put it in a brace. Also, not the kind that Michael talks about between 3:56-4:45 in this scene. (Give it a watch to have a laugh.)
The kind that utilizes your core to stabilize so you can lift heavy sh*t.
How to do it:
Take a deep belly breath. Shoulders will not elevate in a belly breath.
You will expand from all 360-degrees of your core and rib cage (stomach, back, and sides).
Think about how you would react if someone were about to punch you in the stomach.
Holding in this braced position will still allow you to breath normally.
When to do it:
Bracing is especially crucial in compound lifts (deadlift, squat, and bench), although, still important throughout all other lifts and exercises.
Why do it:
To protect your back.
Also, to give your body the best chances of lifting heavy and safely.
What happens when you don’t brace:
Inconsistent breathing, making it inefficient and potentially more difficult to lift.
Remember to exhale on or at the top of pull/push (concentric), inhale on the release (eccentric).
Proper bracing will take your lifts to the next level.