Engaging the core, how to know if Im not just sucking in my stomach?

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Like you’re trying to poop from your waist up and trying not to poop from your waist down.


Push your stomach out and pull it back in as though you’re fighting to keep it out. Its weird but as you exercise your core more often you’ll get it. Its a complex area with multiple muscles. You’ll gain more control the more you develop them.


Think about filling your stomach with air, then flex it like someone is gonna punch you there


Like someone is going to punch you in the stomach. That reflex is what you want to maintain and do at will.


The easiest way to tell if you’re engaging your core vs “sucking in” is by breathing. If you’re truly activating TrA you should still be able to breathe. If you’re “sucking in” then your breathing, namely inspiration, will be quite restricted or impossible. Put your hands on your “headlights”: the bony prominence of your hip bone that face forward (the ASIS of the pelvis). Then slide just off of them toward your head. When you engage your core, you will feel the muscle pop into your hand. If you’re not engaging your core, this muscle doesn’t contract and you won’t feel that contraction. If you aren’t engaging your core, think of pulling your bellybutton to your spine, like you were trying to button a super tight pair of jeans. Edit: if you’re feeling sore in your back, that’s because your true “core” muscle AKA transverse abdominis wraps around your body like a corset and attaches to connective tissue which is attached to your spine (thoracolumbar fascia). It’s possible you’re sore because you’re engaging an untrained muscle.