The main secret of the press

Statement of the problem

You pump the press half of your workout and can perform twisting with hundreds of repetitions, you've tried all the advertised simulators and gels for giving the stomach relief, you can give advice on nutrition and diets. But the press you do not.

Rather, the press is, and in the photo from a certain angle, it looks quite normal. But not at all like the models, which, it would seem, and the cubes are not pumped, but the impression of the abdomen is completely different. The problem is where you are not looking for it - in your bearing and breathing.

Intra-abdominal pressure and posture

One of the most important parameters affecting the rigidity of the spine and its mechanics is intra-abdominal pressure( intra-abdominal pressure, IAP ).Too high, just like too low, intra-abdominal pressure forms an incorrect posture( 1).

This pressure is created and regulated by a number of muscle groups - in the upper part by deep neck flexors( deep cervical flexors

), extensor spine( spinal extensors ) and diaphragm, in the lower part - pelvic floor and transverse abdominal muscles.

Diaphragm and rectus abdominis

A diaphragm is a broad muscle that serves to expand the lungs and separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities. Since the muscle boundary is located at the lower edge of the ribs, it is commonly believed that this muscle is a derivative of the rectus abdominis system( 2).

The role of the diaphragm is twofold. On the one hand, this muscle is responsible for the breathing process, on the other hand it supports the spine in the right position. The weakening of the diaphragm leads to a curvature of the spine and the appearance of chronic pain in the lower back.

Why should I not draw in my stomach?

The main posture disorders caused by a weak diaphragm are the "open scissors" syndrome and the "hourglass" syndrome. In the case of the latter, the lower ribs and pelvis seem to contract, causing the abdomen to collapse inwards, minimizing the deflection of the lower back( 3).

Indirect causes of this disorder is both the constant presence in a sitting position, and the observance of the advice "pull in your stomach."In fact, the correct posture does not at all consist of a retracted abdomen, and the muscles must be simply static stretched.

Stomach of

If the syndrome of "hourglass" is more common in women, then the syndrome of "open scissors" is for men. Because of, again, a sedentary lifestyle, the pelvic angle increases( anterior pelvic tilt ), leading the buttocks back, and the chest - forward and upward.

The abdominal muscles relax while this, transferring the load to the lower back. The result is a falling out stomach and chronic low back pain. Note that weight training with this violation of posture only exacerbate the problem, even more overloading the lower back.

A set of home exercises for improving posture and straightening of the spine. All about how to strengthen the muscles of the lower back.

The problem of the lower press

The lower part of the straight abdominal muscle( just like the transverse and oblique abdominal muscles) creates the same V-shaped lower press, called the "Adonis Belt".It's no secret that this kind of press is the cherished dream of many men.

However, it is important to understand that the "Adonis Belt" is formed solely with the proper operation of the diaphragm and the optimal level of intra-abdominal pressure when performing strength exercises - in fact, the press must be constantly tense and the stomach is not drawn.

How to fix this problem?

Like other chronic problems of posture, the problems of weak diaphragm and incorrect pelvic incline are solved solely by changing the way of life. Doing any special exercises is not able to solve the problem formed by decades.

You will not only have to learn how to breathe, walk and sit differently, you will have to learn to perform all the basic exercises again, and also constantly monitor the position of your body - including the position during meals and even sleep.


In the following materials FitSeven will consider in more detail both the problems of violation of posture due to incorrect breathing, and the ways to solve them. Now study more closely the illustrations of the article, then compare them with your position of the spine.

Scientific sources:

  1. Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization &Sports Rehabilitation, source
  2. Thoracic diaphragm, Wikipedia Article, source
  3. Postural-Locomotion Function in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Disorders, source