Midline stabilisation is a crucial aspect of Crossfit, Whilst Crossfit aims to improve Work Capacity across broad time and modal domains, across a variety of intended stimulus, Safety of the athlete remains of paramount importance.
Given that Crossfit movements occur over a variety of planes of movement its crucial that the athlete learns to maintain Midline stabilizations through out the variety of movements and WODs prescribed, with the true test being to be able to maintain that Midline stabilization through threshold training.
Ultimately the midline refers to the spinal column connecting into the pelvis. Simply put, its Midline stabilisation that keeps you upright and ensure that that your spine is well protected when lifting heavy weights or moving through dynamic movements.
The spine achieves Midline stabilisation with the aid of a variety of muscles around the torso, from the lats, the transverse abdominus, the obliques and the glutes. Being able to control the tension of these muscles, relative to the postural goals is what will help support Midline stabilisation. in simple terms the first part of forming Midline stabilisation is to set a neutral spine.
setting a neutral spine-
- squeeze your glutes, this ensure that your pelvis is set in the correct postion, with out excessive posterior or anterior tilt.
- stand tall, ensure that head is as tall as possible, and shoulders are pulled back and down.
- next, set the abs by flexing and pushing against the abdominal walls, this should feel like the torso is being made really solid and creates intra-abdominal pressure creating a very solid ‘foundation’, strangely this should feel like trying to force out a poo and hold in a pee at the same time.
- once the intra-abdominal pressure has been created, relax the glutes
once you know how to set a solid spine, you then need to learn how to breath and go through motion whilst maintaining varying degrees of Midline stabilisation (you don’t need the same level of rigidity with a 300lb back squat as you do with a body weight pull up). Finally, because of the lifestyle we live in of 9 to 5 office work, generally extra attention needs to be paid to the mobility of the athlete, specifically around the thoracic spine.