The transcript below is from the video “Bruce Lee’s Core Stability Was Key to His Athleticism” by The Bioneer.

The Bioneer (Adam Sinicki AKA “The Bioneer,” YouTube Channel, Vlog about fitness, bodybuilding, productivity, flow states, psychology, technology, transhumanism, working online, martial arts, parkour and more):

More Bruce Lee training! This post explores what I think was key to Bruce Lee’s amazing athleticism: his core stability. The one finger push up (or two finger) and the dragon flag are nothing if not demonstrations of this impressive rigidity. This allowed Bruce to deliver incredible power and speed in his strikes, and may even have contributed to his mobility and high kicks!

The Bioneer (Adam Sinicki AKA “The Bioneer,” YouTube Channel, Vlog about fitness, bodybuilding, productivity, flow states, psychology, technology, transhumanism, working online, martial arts, parkour and more):

What was it about Bruce Lee that made him such a martial-arts icon? Of course, Bruce brought an incredible screen presence and deep philosophy to his craft. But beyond that what made him so fascinating to watch? Sure Bruce was fast, but there have been plenty of super fast martial artists since. And Bruce was ripped, but again named more so than many others who came before or after him. So what is it about Bruce’s physicality that really made him stand out? And was he really as invincible as many myths and legends would have us believe? I think I have at least part of the answer and the clue lies in his amazing one finger push-up. But first, if you guys enjoy this philosophical approach to real world training and performance, you’ll probably get a kick out of my e-book and training program- Super Functional Training. There’s a discount on it at the moment, so go and check it out if you’re interested. That one finger push-up would be impressive by any standards.

The Bioneer (Adam Sinicki AKA “The Bioneer,” YouTube Channel, Vlog about fitness, bodybuilding, productivity, flow states, psychology, technology, transhumanism, working online, martial arts, parkour and more):

But if you watch closely, you’ll notice that it’seven more impressive than it looks. Unlike many people performing this move or even just a one-handed push-up, Bruce does not move his hand to the center of his body nor does he turn his body at all his hand stays directly beneath the shoulder while the rest of his body remains perfectly straight and parallel to the ground. What does this show us? It shows that Bruce has insane core stability. He is able to resist the rotational force to prevent his opposite shoulder dipping even slightly, while also preventing any extension in his spine. Never mind the incredible finger strength of this move also requires. Try it for yourself and you’ll see just how amazing it is. Funny thing is that Bruce’s other signature moves also demonstrate amazing core stability.

The Bioneer (Adam Sinicki AKA “The Bioneer,” YouTube Channel, Vlog about fitness, bodybuilding, productivity, flow states, psychology, technology, transhumanism, working online, martial arts, parkour and more):

In particular, Bruce’s dragon flag is a classic anti-extension move, where the real challenge is engaging the core to prevent the buttocks from bending towards the ground. Coincidence? Now check out Bruce performing the V sit as an actual V sit like a gymnast would do. Not an l-sit. And that demonstrates not only impressive strength but also mobility. This requires compressive strength which is powering the core to bend that way against natural resistance. We see this again when Bruce pancake stretches from standing while warming up to fight Chuck Norris. But what does this have to do with Bruce’s ability to deliver such watchable punches and kicks. Well everything.

The Bioneer (Adam Sinicki AKA “The Bioneer,” YouTube Channel, Vlog about fitness, bodybuilding, productivity, flow states, psychology, technology, transhumanism, working online, martial arts, parkour and more):

Watch Bruce Lee throw a punch and one thing stands out- his upper torso is rigid like a plank of wood. There’s no wobble and no give. This is crucial for delivering truly powerful blows as spine specialist Stuart McGill put it, ‘proximal stiffness enhances distal athleticism.’ Core stability is a misunderstood concept, but it essentially describes the ability to keep the core rigid and still against resistance. This can be broken down into the following categories: Anti-Flexion- resisting bending forwards this is important when squatting or dead-lifting to prevent rounding of the spine and thus injury. Anti Extension: Resisting bending backwards. This is what is key to the Dragon Flag. Anti Lateral Flexion: Resisting bending sideways. If you press just a single dumbbell with one hand for instance, you use anti lateral flexion, to prevent tipping to one side. Anti Rotation: Resisting twisting key to the one handed push-up, but also extremely important in grappling.

The Bioneer (Adam Sinicki AKA “The Bioneer,” YouTube Channel, Vlog about fitness, bodybuilding, productivity, flow states, psychology, technology, transhumanism, working online, martial arts, parkour and more):

This rigidity is what allows a martial artist to translate power from their hips into a powerful punch. Think about it this way… if I were to hit you with a plank of wood with a nail on the end, that would probably hurt. Don’t worry I wouldn’t do that to you. But if that nail was attached to something bendy like a thin branch, it would hurt a lot less. Not only that but the trajectory of the nail would be slower and less efficient. To take the rest of the quote from McGill- ‘when muscles contract they try to shorten. Consider the specific action here the arm flexes around the shoulder joint moving the arm from muscle shortening at the distal end. But the same shortening also bends the rib cage towards the arm at the proximal end of the muscle. Thus simply using the PEC muscle would not result in the fast nor forceful punch.

The Bioneer (Adam Sinicki AKA “The Bioneer,” YouTube Channel, Vlog about fitness, bodybuilding, productivity, flow states, psychology, technology, transhumanism, working online, martial arts, parkour and more):

Now stiffen the proximal end of the PEC muscle attachment- meaning stiffen the core and the rib-cage that it can’t move. Now, 100% of the PEC muscle shortening is directed to action at its distal end producing fast and forceful motion in the arm. In the same way a stiffened core locks down the proximal ends of the hip muscles producing faster leg motion. A loss of course stiffness causes the torso to bend when sprinting, and a loss of speed some force was robbed that should have been expressed in leg velocity.’ This way the rigidity of your core will also result in greater mobility and flexibility. Now watch Bruce Lee again. Makes sense right? And we know that Bruce absolutely prioritized core training.

The Bioneer (Adam Sinicki AKA “The Bioneer,” YouTube Channel, Vlog about fitness, bodybuilding, productivity, flow states, psychology, technology, transhumanism, working online, martial arts, parkour and more):

At some points performing his ab routine daily. Bruce also made the point about contracting every muscle in his body during training. Improving his mind muscle connection and his power. I’ve shared Bruce’s known AB routine in the article that accompanies this video. You can follow the link in the description down below to find that for yourself. This is not just [?] martial arts, this is true for all athletic pursuits and it’s one reason that functional coaches spend a lot of time building stability in their clients. Many of these exercises involve keeping the core completely stable or performing a light unilateral or twisting movement to provide challenge and to serve as a kind of distraction. Often as soon as we forget about core stability it all goes to pieces. However you can simply use calisthenics moves like the one-armed push-ups, the LaLanne push-up and handstand push-ups to develop something similar. Likewise you can use the unilateral and offset exercises like the suitcase carry and other one-sided loaded carries.

The Bioneer (Adam Sinicki AKA “The Bioneer,” YouTube Channel, Vlog about fitness, bodybuilding, productivity, flow states, psychology, technology, transhumanism, working online, martial arts, parkour and more):

Likewise when performing any movement from the squat to the humble press up be mindful of what your core is doing and whether you’re able to keep it rigid during that movement don’t let the waist sag or the upper background. Core stability is also so important for Vance calisthenics. I found that when performing freestanding handstands, core stability is critical to getting the straight line. The minute my spine goes into extension I have two choices- banana handstand or bail. The ability to straighten up again is the difference between success and failure. So what’s the takeaway? Start using those anti-moves in your own training and you’ll see improvements in every area of your athleticism. I’ve developed a short core stability workout that I’m posting to Instagram. You can incorporate these moves into your existing workouts or swap this with your current abs day. Go and follow me on Instagram @thebioneer to check that out for yourself. The link will be in the description down below.

The Bioneer (Adam Sinicki AKA “The Bioneer,” YouTube Channel, Vlog about fitness, bodybuilding, productivity, flow states, psychology, technology, transhumanism, working online, martial arts, parkour and more):

One more thing, think about investing in a chair with no back when you sit in an office your spine is artificially supported for hours on end this can cause the deep muscles of the core to actually switch off and eventually we lose some of that tone and conscious control over them. So, thanks ton for watching this one guys. Hope you found it useful and interesting. Let me know what you think could this be one of the keys to Bruce Lee’s speed and power? Do you guys use core stability training in your own routines? Looking forward to hearing what you guys have to say and I hope you’re all staying healthy and safe. I’ll see you next time. Thanks for watching and bye for now.




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