A CrossFit athlete participates in a CrossFit workout

MIDLINE STABILITY

Maybe the most important concept to understand for maximizing your performance and staying injury free in the gym is midline stability.  You’ve probably heard us use the term midline stability or talk about “your midline” but might have wondered what that meant, exactly.

First, it’s important to understand what we mean when we refer to your midline.  Core is a related term but focuses specifically on the muscles that wrap around your spine.  Your midline is the entirety of your spine from your neck down through your hips.

Maintaining a stable midline means holding our hip and spine locked together while we move through a particular range of motion.   

As coaches, we can spot proper midline stability (or lack of) in every movement in the gym.  Does an athlete’s back round during a deadlift or while rowing?  They’ve lost their midline.  Do they arch their back too much when pressing overhead?  They’ve lost their midline.  Do their feet come too far back during kipping pull-ups?  Yep, they’ve lost their midline.

As an athlete it’s pretty easy to tell if your midline stability isn’t what it should be.  Do you notice your lower back hurts more than it should the morning after you’ve done certain movements?  That’s a good sign your spine and your hips aren’t working together like they should.  

Remember, pain is a lagging indicator.  If you’ve got pain somewhere, it’s very likely being caused by a movement deficiency.  

Developing and maintaining good midline stability is vital to staying safe in the gym, and learning to properly breathe and brace is an absolutely essential part of the process.  This is why at TBCF we always strongly recommend our athletes not use weight belts unless they’re very experienced and already understand proper bracing.  

The danger is that by relying on a weight belt too early in our athletic development we risk not learning to brace properly, which will greatly increase the risk of injury down the road.  We encourage even experienced athletes to not use belts–we don’t want them to become a crutch that causes our midline stability to wane.  If we’re breathing and bracing properly, we shouldn’t need extra supportive equipment unless and until the weights get very heavy.  

Our focus on building midline stability in TBCF athletes is one of the reasons we focus on holding positions so often.  These isometric contractions are outstanding for developing control and stability.  All the paused back squats we’ve been doing lately?  Those aren’t just to torture you…they’re to make sure your midlines are working the right way.  

A CrossFit athlete participates in a CrossFit workout

Our intense focus on proper hinging patterns in everything we do is another way we make sure your spines and hips are working together.  

Hopefully now you understand a little more about why it’s so important to focus on making sure your body is moving the way it should and can.  

At Twin Bridges, our focus will always be on the quality of your movement first.  I don’t care what weight you have on the bar until I’m first satisfied that your mechanics are sound.  The athlete who is patient and understands that sustainable gains in strength and performance come gradually and with proper mechanics is setting themselves up for a long road of success.

About the Author 

Edward Getterman is a Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3) and the owner of Twin Bridges CrossFit in Waco, Texas. If he can’t be at the gym or at home, he’d prefer to be at Walt Disney World. He loves deadlifts, hates running, and believes above all else that CrossFit is for everyone.

Check us out on YouTube!

Read More on the TBCF Blog

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

GETTING STARTED IS EASY!

Simply fill out the form below and then schedule Your FREE intro session on the next page.

Shortly after we will be in touch with you to confirm your intro session.We are excited to meet you!

HOLD POLICY

By submitting the form below you are confirming that you have read and understand that: Membership hold requests must be submitted no less than (7) seven business days before your forthcoming scheduled renewal date. Membership hold requests received later cannot be processed until after the forthcoming scheduled renewal payment. All membership payments are non-refundable. A member in good standing may place a membership on hold only after the initial two-month term of membership. Membership holds may not exceed 6 consecutive and 10 total weeks in the calendar year. The AutoPay on the membership file must be confirmed and active. Membership billing automatically resumes the month after the requested hold date unless a member calls to release the hold early. Use of the gym or its facilities during the “Hold” period will result in the membership being reactivated immediately, and the member’s regular monthly membership charges will be assessed. Upon expiration of the hold period, your account will automatically reactivate and regular membership payments will resume. All membership payments are non-refundable. If you choose to cancel your membership during the hold period, the standard 30-day written cancellation notice requirement stated in your membership agreement is applicable. If you choose to reactivate your membership after it is canceled, membership rates in effect at the time of reactivation will be applicable (membership rates are subject to change). * Please note: This policy applies to ALL memberships.

CANCELLATION POLICY

WE’RE SORRY TO SEE YOU GO. If you decide to reactivate your membership in the future (and we hope you do) membership rates in effect at the time of reactivation will be applicable as membership rates are subject to change. If you are traveling or injured and would like to put your membership on hold instead of canceling, you can submit a Membership Hold Request instead.
All membership agreements require 30-days written notice to cancel your membership. This form will serve as your 30-day written cancellation notice. Note that if you have a scheduled renewal payment within 30-days of your invoice billing date, the payment will be processed as scheduled. Your membership will be canceled at the end of your final paid month. All payments are non-refundable.
Cancellation of membership prior to the expiration of a specified commitment period requires a termination fee equivalent to the balance owed for your time with an active membership. E.g., if the difference between a 12-month agreement and a 6-month agreement is 15$ and a 12-month is terminated two months early, you will owe $30 ($15 x 2).

MEMBERSHIP CANCELLATION REQUEST

Please fill out the form below and one of our team members will review your request. Warning. The submission of this form does not cancel your membership. We will review your request, then reach out to confirm.

HAVE QUESTIONS?

We Would Love To Meet You!

Simply fill out the form below
& one of our amazing
coaches will be in touch asap! We are excited to meet you!

ARE YOU LOOKING TO DROP-IN?

We Would Love To Meet You! WARNING!
Class Sizes Are Limited.

If you would like to reserve a spot... Simply click the button below to view available drop-in classes and book your spot to save time.

OUR DROP-IN RATES

$20 Per Class

OUR Information:

OUR PRICING IS SIMPLE

We Want To Offer You The PERFECT Membership For Your NEEDS.

Simply fill out the form below & one of our amazing coaches will send you our current membership information.