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Your Upper Fuckwaffle and other Traitorous muscles

I posted this image in my closed Facebook group a while ago:

Aside from the jokes and messing, it did generate a few questions, including a request for an explanation as to why these, especially the Absolute Fuckwaffle exist.

It’s a big subject.

Way bigger than a wee blog post.

But lets take a crack at it, while keeping things simple and more importantly actionable.

So, the Traitor is the Splenius Capitis The Jackass is our Levator Scap The Fuckwaffle is the Upper Traps The Asshole appeaers to be the Erector Spinae

Here’s an “correct” chart:

Now, when my clients go over to the anatomy chart I have hanging on the wall of the gym, I know they are having a problem and looking to give it a name.

When I chat to them, I encourage them not to look at the muscle names, but the orientation of the muscle fibres.

This line of pull can offer us more clues at to why it may be causing an issue. And there are a few common assumptions we can permit ourselves use to guide us.

Assumptions such as:

The Lev Scap and Upper Traps are tight. The lower traps are “weak” The Lats are either over tight or simply not playing The Pec, especially the Pec Minor is being a proper dick!

Why this happens can be for a variety of reasons.

Office posture is the most common. Dominant sporting actions next. Injuries, from impact or other trauma. Imbalanced training

There are also psychological reasons. Thoma Hanna in his book Somatic Movement Therapy talks about the Red Light reflex.

Essentially it’s the fight response, a reaction to stress. The Shoulders lift and round forward, the neck disappears, the head comes slightly forward and angles down.

It is essentially a fighting stance. It closes down access to many of our vulnerable targets, the chin protects the throat, the shoulders protect the chin and carotids, the forehead protects the eyes and we present the thickest, hardest part of the skull as the foremost target.

All perfectly natural.

As long as we don’t live there!

Take that description and map it over the first image.

The Lev Scap / Jackass is under pressure, short at the top as the head comes forward, long at the bottom as the shoulder blade is pulled up and forwards. The Fuckwaffle is pretty much doing all the work to create the posture, with help from it’s buddy the pec minor The Traitor is now trying to hold the head from flopping forwards, and every muscle in the upper back is working to maintain a posture that sucks.

Now, that’s all a huge generalisation. That may not be you specifically.

But it does help explain why we coach certain exercises a certain way.

The Push Up for example, is coached to reduce the role of the Pec Minor and Upper Traps, common problem areas. While increasing the role of the Serratus Anterior and Middle Traps, common weak points:

A post shared by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on Jun 19, 2017 at 2:23am PDT

Watch how in the Turkish Get up and Windmill exercises we coach to keep the loaded shoulder in as much external rotation as possible and to feel the weight being carried by the back, rather than the shoulder:

A post shared by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on May 15, 2017 at 1:01am PDT

And of course there are the Indian Clubs that take the shoulder complex through almost every possible range under a traction load provided by the centrifugal force of the swinging club:

A post shared by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on May 20, 2017 at 2:56am PDT

These demo clips are all from my Instagram so are snapshots of activity, they’re not specific recommendations. But if I were to recommend anything, it would be to learn proper form from a proper coach and to ensure load is limited by form, not ego.

One last thing. Practice your diaphragmatic breathing. That almost always has a calming effect on the Fuckwaffle


Dave Hedges

Wg-Fit is now taking Online Clients, in both Group and Personal Training formats. If you are interested in learning more about this service, drop me a line

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