A common denominator for anyone and everyone walking in the door of our facility is a lack in strength or stability in particular areas of the body. Aesthetically, people want to know if they’ll get bigger (insert body part here), but realistically, two that are tremendously important should get better. Without further adieu, here they are:
1. Anterior Core
Almost everyone I see is tremendously weak here. It becomes even more clear when you ask someone to perform a simple push up. They literally just hang on the ligaments of the spine. How have you made it this far in life without learning how to perform a proper push up???
When I say anterior core, I’m referring to the portion known anatomically as rectus abdominus. Fancy latin. It connects the front portion of the ribs to the pelvis and when contracting forces the hips into a posterior pelvic tilt. Not always great to be in that position, but with proper opposition/apposition it is fairly balanced to our normal 13 degrees of anterior pelvic tilt.
When this is weak, you see a lot of extra anterior pelvic tilt. Your body just hangs out on whatever it knows will create stability…ligaments of your hips and spine. Is it any wonder that we have soo much low back pain!?
Strengthen the abs, it will help create stability. It isn’t the only answer as there are a few other abdominal muscles that are needed to help create that apposition we are looking for (different topic for a different day).
This is something that we work on almost every day in the facility. To create almost all athletic motion, you need the glutes. When developed, they can also have an aesthetic side to them too.
Glutes are great players in power, stability, multi direction motion. We all have a gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. The hip joint (where the femur articulates with the acetabulum of the pelvis) also has a great deal of mobility, three planes actually. Contracting here will create an external rotation element on the femur (thigh) as well as an extension moment. It can create stability to the pelvis in a closed chain contraction taking shear off the low back. And it gives us great power and push off in the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes of motion.
The right side is usually a little weaker, again, different conversation for a different day.
This is anecdotal at best on my part. When we screen our athletes and adults though, we see this to be consistent across the board. Maybe it is indigenous to the Merrimack Valley, but I highly doubt it. Let me know what you think by leaving a reply below.