Bracing the abs and stiffening the spine is simple to learn and just takes practice and consistency to master. The nice thing is that less force is actually better because control is superior to force in this case, so less is actually more. While standing with your feet shoulder width apart hip hinge into a very small squat, just like leaning your tush back onto a bar stool. At this point your abs will actually naturally engage so all that is needed now is a slight push out of your belly. This is an abdominal brace. My challenge to you is to practice the brace with any physical task that you perform, from yard work to exercise - brace your abs. Over time your core will be stronger and your chance of injury will drastically reduce. It seems too good to be true but it is not; this is how your body wants to move; we just have to remind it how to do it.
Years of sitting to long, poor exercise choice, poor posture, lack of self care and sports makes our hip flexor muscles way too tight. This tightness actually inhibits your abs from firing properly. Compounding this problem and concurrent to this tightness in the hip flexors is a concept called gluteal amnesia. Yup, you read that right; your tush forgets what to do. So this inhibited abdominal wall and a tush that cannot remember its job is what leaves us open for injury.
Bracing the abs is the first key to being fit, strong and pain free. It's the foundation to your house. Next we need to delve into on duty stretching, off duty self care such as massage, stretching and law enforcement specific exercise that will not contribute to the patterns we discussed above. For now, brace those abs whenever you can and before you know it your body will have learned how to brace in all situations.