Thursday, February 28, 2013
The “Go” Muscles
As discussed in my last segment http://tinyurl.com/bk96vkq, the posterior chain is absolutely essential to athletic performance. The posterior chain is made up of the low back, glutes, and hamstrings. In athletics, the posterior chain is arguably the most important muscle group in the human body. Unfortunately, it is often the weakest and most under-developed area in most athletes. The posterior chain is what allows an athlete to jump and generate explosive force (Woodrup, 2008).
High school is typically when many kids begin weight training and more often than not, these kids are left to figure things out on their own. Walk into a typical high school weightroom and you will likely find teenagers piled around the bench press taking turns maxing out and doing every curl variation known to man, leaving the platforms and racks to collect dust. In return, these athletes find themselves pulling hamstrings, blowing out knees, and spending much of their season in the training room.
Can this be avoided? Absolutely it can! The answer lies in posterior chain development. Injuries are going to happen. It’s the nature of sports. However, a sound strength and conditioning program can limit the frequency of these injuries. Not only will a strong posterior chain keep you healthy, but will also help punish the opposition. The posterior chain contains the highest ratios of fast-twitch muscle fibers in the human body and these muscles are typically the biggest and have the greatest strength potential (Woodrup, 2008).
Athletes are competitive, always looking for ways to stay ahead of the game. I believe the answer lies in training the muscles of the low back, glutes, and hamstrings through movements such as squats, glute-ham raises, Romanian deadlifts, and rows just to name a few. These exercises will allow you to run faster, jump higher, and stay on the field.
Woodrup, J. (2008). Posterior Chain Versus Anterior Chain: Which is more important? Retrieved from http://tinyurl.com/bor99hq