Combat athletes are my favorite athletes to train.
It stems from my own extensive background in martial arts and security work.
It’s the entire basis of the training carried out in Wild Geese.
It’s why we don’t over emphasise any one element of training over any other.
While many worship strength, others flexibility and the ever growing trend of super high intensity saggital plane circuit training.
The WG-Fit method worships the well rounded, the adaptable and the focused.
Strength is needed.
Mobility is needed.
Endurance is needed.
No one has a premium over any other.
Training revolves around maintaining the stronger elements while bringing up the weaker elements.
And a big weak area I find in so many is the lower traps.
The lower traps are non sexy, they don’t fill out your t-shirt and you can’t see them in the mirror.
I can’t remember anyone ever saying, “check out the lower traps on her!”
Check out the lower traps on her!
But as these are important muscles for retracting and depressing the scapulae, pulling the shoulders back and down, they’re essential for posture, for breathing and for performance.
If the lower traps are weak, we’ve no chance for demonstrating strength, mobility or endurance through the shoulder girdle.
It’s why I advocate the kettlebell and the gymnastic rings for upper body development.
When we use a kettlebell, we press and jerk by first contracting the lower traps to pop the chest and bump the bell upwards.
When we use the rings we have the option to rotate the arm which adds significant activation of the rotator cuffs. Add to that the instability of the rings and we have the development of responsive, reactive strength.
Give these traits to a combat athlete and your likley to see punching power and resistance to submissions massively increase.
Give these to “normal” folk and you’ll see much healthier shoulders that are much less susceptible to injury.
Take care of that upper back, and your upper back will take care of you.
Dave Hedges www.WG-Fit.com
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