Thursday, May 6, 2010

Is there junk in your trunk?

No, I don't mean your car! I mean your rear end! I am sure you look great from the front but what about when you turn around and walk away? When you stand sideways is there a straight drop from your back at the waist down to the floor?

If so, you need some work on those glutes!

I know I talk about glutes a lot, but any functional coach will tell you that one of the most important group of muscles to strengthen is the posterior chain. This includes your lower back, glutes, hamstrings, calves.

Why is it so neglected? Because you can't see it when you train! People tend to train what they can see (it's a vanity issue).

Having a weak posterior chain will cause a multitude of problems for you, but a strong posterior chain not only looks great, it guarantees you will be strong and healthy in all of your physical endeavors.

A strong posterior chain ensures you will have a strong back, good posture, less chance of hip and knee pain.

What builds a strong posterior chain?

Glute Ham Raise
Kettlebell swings
Reverse Hypers
Good Mornings

Most commercial gyms don't have a glute ham raise, but I heard my gym will be getting one soon, and I cannot wait! SC has one we use weekly, but I want one I can use more often.

Same with the reverse hyper, we don't have one at the gym, SC does though.

Both of these are best done on the correct piece of equipment, but you can perform a variation of the glute ham raise with the help of a partner and the reverse hyper on a bench.

I strongly encourage you to seek out kettlebell training from a certified instructor, and I mean certified in kettlebells specifically. This is one area where you want proper instruction. I see people at my gym using kettlebells wrong all the time, and I am afraid they will injure themselves.

Don't be too proud to ask for help and if you do, be sure you are asking the right person.

By the way, what you want to hear when you walk away is "Check out the junk in that trunk!"'s a good thing.