Fitness Trainer Magazine

Fitness Trainer July/August 2017

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Working to build eccentric core muscle engagement (not just concentric) in most of the mus- culature of the torso as well as postural leg muscles such as ad- ductors and hamstrings is a great way to pursue an upright body. Long lever actions can achieve this such as planking exercises in all directions, and bridging with bent and straight legs. Also effective is any movement of the spine (flexion, extension, sidebending, and rotation) with focus on lengthening over short- ening through the movement or pose. Constantly cue the client to maintain vertebral space in all exercises. You may notice your client's range of motion may be smaller when the client doesn't rob Peter to pay Paul in their own body, but it will strengthen and teach their para- spinals that their main job is to keep compression away. Range of mo- tion can and should increase over time working this way without sacrificing joint space. This means focusing on the posterior body musculature. Emphasize more hip extension exercises such as Superman, and lunges being cautious that your client is not performing lumbar extension in lieu of hip extension. Teach them to sta- bilize their lower backs in hip extension exercises by engag- ing the abdominals to lengthen and support the spine from the front. A big mistake in plank is when people tuck their tailbone un- der to lengthen the lower spine which typically recruits a con- centric engagement of the Psoas and inhibits needed engage- ment of the abdominals and paraspinals for stabilizing the spine. The tailbone does pull down a bit, but indirectly by the hamstring and TA activation. The same applies to the muscles of the upper body and shoulder girdle. Work the mus- cles that help the chest to stay upright such as Lower Trape- zius, Triceps and Lats, Serratus, Posterior Deltoid, and Rhom- boids more than the ones that pull the chest and shoulders forward. 4. Work the core eccentrically more than concentrically 5. Work the muscles that hold you up more than the ones that pull you down

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