Now that it is understood why to strengthen and contract the core during these strong extension actions, the next part is how do you maintain a “tight” core during exercise?
During a movement, whether it is during a workout routine or everyday life you should always keep in mind to keep a “tight” core to support the back. You can do this by simply pulling your belly button in towards your spine and then up towards your ribs. This action contracts both the rectus abdominis and the transverse abdominis, thus bringing the slight action of the ribs and pelvis moving towards each other. This is the opposite action of the back muscles, therefore giving your back muscles the needed support in the front of the spine, keeping it neutral.
It is important to remember to do this when any strain is placed on the low back. When doing any lifting, whether it be during exercise or yard work, lifting bags or children, anytime you feel your back working to extend or lift any type of weight, remember to pull your belly button in and up. As a whole the core muscles work together to prevent back injuries like disc problems, sprains and strains that can cause substantial pain and immobility.