The “Anti” muscles? Has Dave finally lost the plot?
No my friends I mean the anti-gravity muscles, the anti-aging and anti-injury muscles. The muscles we should be spending time training yet few do. The muscles that may not make us look cool on the beach right now, but in 30 years time will separate us from the masses. The muscles the make us move efficiently, powerfully and smoothly.
So which muscles are these? To keep things brief, they’re the ones mostly found on the rear of the body, from the shoulder blades down. This takes in but is not limited to: Calves, hamstrings, glutes, last, lower traps and rhomboids. Special mention needs to be given to the core musculature as a unit and also the quadriceps with an emphasis on the VMO.
Fortunately the list of training exercises needed to cover all this is a lot shorter. Just so long as we stick to the big guns and use progressive overloading, we should be able to enhance the strength, coordination and power of these vital areas with just a few movements. Movements such as:
Deep squats – goblet squats, front squats, Hindu squats (particularly good for the VMO region)
Pulls from below the hip – deadlifts, Kettlebell swings, Kettlebell and dumbbell snatch, all manner of cleans. Barbell Hip thrusts also count here.
Marianne Kane demo’s the single leg deadlift, a top drill for all sorts of reasons
Rowing – bent over rows, dumbbell rows, inverted rows etc. Pull Ups count IF you can do them right and retract the scapula fully, as illustrated here:
Thats it. Three movement patterns:
Lower body push / Knee Dominant Straight Arm Pull / Hip Dominant Bent Arm Pull / Horizontal Upper Body Pull
Get these into your training program, hit them hard and hit them frequently and you will reap the benefits.
They WILL keep you more resistant to injury. They WILL have you hitting harder and faster. They WILL make your opponents blows bounce with barely a nod. They WILL keep you standing tall and moving smoothly as you age disgracefully.
Hit a variety of rep ranges at a variety of intensities. Do both Unilateral and Bilateral variations.
But whatever you do, prioritise them over all other training drills.