At TNT Strength when it comes to program design, exercise selection etc., we try to base what we do on TRUTH not TRENDS.
Unfortunately the fitness industry is full of myths, misinformation, half truths and just plain bad science. Case in point, the “Drawing in” maneuver, has been recommended by some of the leading “fitness experts” for quite some time now. The theory is that “drawing in” is an important concept to help individuals learn to activate deep abdominal muscles while training.
I have never recommended that people draw in. I know my anatomy and recognized two things wrong with the idea right away.
1. For the most part the transverse abdominis is not truly under 100% conscious control.
2. “Drawing in” can cause an inherent structural weakness due to the nature of the movement.
Instead I have always told folks if they want to activate their “ABS” to brace as if expecting to be “punched in the gut”. Better yet recognize that if you are relatively normal and healthy that the system will take care of itself naturally bracing to match the demands placed on it.
If you are a trainer or coach you may regularly teach people to “draw in”. If you are an athlete or work with a trainer, you may have been taught to do this. Either way I suggest you check out this interesting article on one of the most pervasive trends in the Fitness Industry and then, draw your own conclusions.
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