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Article by Infofit

The Anatomical Girdle Grip

Variations of core engagement from seated to standing

Core Function and Stability

Engagement of the anatomical girdle grip is the most fundamental and essential exercise to be taught before commencing any resistance training.  Your certified personal trainer will teach you about core engagement to promote stability, safety and strength. Learning to utilize the anatomical girdle grip is imperative in other aspects of people’s lives such as when lifting heavy objects or performing household chores.

Anatomical Girdle Grip in a Seated Position

Anatomical Girdle Grip in Standing Position

How To…

Begin in a standing position while maintaining your natural posture.  Slouch your shoulders forward over-exaggerating a poor posture.

From the slouched position, take a deep breath in.  On the exhale, lift your head, bring your shoulders back and stand as tall as you can.

You may feel a natural ‘grip’ in the abdominal area as you straighten, but if not, gradually tighten your anatomical girdle as you rise on the exhale.

Maintain a neutral head position and the girdle grip while breathing normally.

Apply the anatomical girdle grip to all exercises regardless of the type of equipment in order to promote good posture and control.

 Once the anatomical grip has been taught then the spine will be safe should you be bumped, hit or moved. When you understand how to engage the core in the standing position it is important to learn how to utilize it in other positions.

Anatomical Girdle Grip in Bent Over Position

One of the most common spinal injury is when people bend over without proper spinal support. In the last video Andre Noel Potvin discusses turning on or firing the anatomical girdle in a position such as when you are bending over a car to lift out groceries or reaching into playpen to pick up a baby.

How to …

Start once again in the slouched position as described in the other two videos. Taking a deep breath exhale and drive yourself up while straightening your spine and engaging the anatomical girdle.

Imagine you are at the trunk of a car or playpen bending over just slightly from the hip joint. Ensure the knees are slightly bent at all times.

Lift the arms out in front of you with the palms facing one another. Bend the elbows and until they are at a 90° angle keeping them close to the body. Once established this position does not bother the lower back slowly start to extend the elbows and flex the shoulder. Once you have achieved your pain free range of motion reverse the movement to the starting position.

Over a period of a week or two you should be able to bring the arms up higher in position until the biceps are almost in line with the ear.

Speak to a physician prior to starting a new fitness regime. When new to exercise hire a personal trainer to show you the correct lifting techniques to ensure proper form.

Anatomical grip or core stabilization will help keep functional, independent and injury free throughout your life.

André Noël Potvin, MSc, CES, CSCS, TFL, is a Clinical Exercise Specialist and Owner of Infofit, North America’s Premier School Fitness Professionals.