I don’t care how strong your arms and legs are if they are connected to an unstable section of the body. So much focus is put on the prime movers, the big power muscles and most of these muscles create movement in the sagittal plane. One of the most powerful movements the human body can produce is triple extension. Hip extension, knee extension and plantar flexion combined with perfect timing to produce enormous amounts of vertical thrust in the sagittal plane. Thats great and all but I feel most athletes that come to see me possess at least adequate power in this movement pattern. Thats why I focus a lot of my training with a 360 degree approach to movement. Not one plane but all planes! To do this we need to train muscles that are not traditionally trained and movement patterns that mirror more of an athletic movement than an exercise.
When you train these movements it is less about adding horsepower to the prime movers and more to do with enhancing the neuromuscular control and adding stability to the anchor points that the prime movers attach to. So what are our anchor points? In this post I will focus on the Scapula and the Pelvis. All the Rotational Slings attach and or pass through the scaps and the pelvis. So don’t you think we should focus on the muscles that stabilize and control the scapula and pelvis? You can have the most powerful slings in the world but if they are attached to mush they are useless. Where do you want to start? All movement comes from the ground up so a good place to start would be the pelvis. Lets do this!
Pelvic Control starts at the core. Im not going to go into core training as we will get so far off topic we may never see the light of day again. That topic will be covered in entirety in a future post! Pelvic Stability on the other hand starts with Pelvic Floor Control. The best way to understand pelvic floor control is to place your fingers over your inguinal ligament and perform kegels. For those of you men who think this is just a girl exercise to help with incontinence after vaginally birthing children you need to give your head a shake! You have a pelvic floor too!
Picture the basin of your pelvis as bicycle wheel hub. The pelvic floor muscles act as the spokes of the wheel. When engaged these muscles lock out the pelvis and and stability to the sacroiliac joint. Houston we have stability and are ready for lift off!
Lets assume you have a good solid stabile pelvis. Now lets go south and look at the muscles that connect to the pelvis. Abductors and adductors. Please not that I didn’t have to spell it out for you with an “AD”ductors and “AB”ductors. That is for people who don’t know how to enunciate or use it to remind themselves what the difference is. These muscles can be used as movers, stabilizers, accelerators, decelerators, and rotators. So lets come up with a kick ass exercises that incorporates as many of these attributes as possible. I love the Lateral Lunge to Post. Lets break it down:
Why do I love this exercise so much? We have the right leg loading and exploding and the left leg decelerating and stabilizing. I love the deep hip hinge at the bottom and the hip extension combined with balance at the top of the exercise. Love it!
Now lets move past the core and up to the next anchor point for all things moving north of the equator.
Scapular stability is a tricky subject. I use to think scapular stability meant locking down the scapula and making sure it didn’t move a millimetre while performing arm movements. My exercises were designed to lock down the scape and I wouldn’t progress my athletes until they had mastery of this position. Ohhhh how I was wrong! The scapula actually moves, stabilizes, retracts, protracts, elevates and lowers. I think of it as dynamic stability. You see stability isn’t about not moving. Its about controlling movement! Thats why I love the Single Arm Kettle Bell Snatch. The scapula and shoulder stabilizes, elevates, retracts, stabilizes and locks down all in less than a second. Very complex and extremely dynamic. For the purposes of this article I will focus on a simpler exercise to enhance scapular stability. The Statue of Liberty.
Now I said I was going to share the 2 best exercises ever! Now that was a little over the top so I could get your attention. But what I am about to share with you is not over the top. Its real! My favourite exercise to change every aspect of your life from your scapular control, pelvic control, core stability and improve your sex life is…………. Lateral Lunge to Press!
It is a beautiful union of the 2 exercises. Drop into the lateral lunge with a kettle bell gently but actively resting on the non standing leg shoulder. Drop deep into the hip hinge crushing that kettle bell grip like you mean it. Drive off the down leg and explosively drive the bell up overhead to a single leg ipsilateral statue of liberty! Oooohhhh hold on I need to fire off a few reps as I wri…………………te……..this…… Sorry I had to! What an amazing exercise. Try it, take a video or picture. Post it on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook and hashtag #CoachGlassNextLevel so I get to see you killing it! You will thank me later.
Cheers! Coach Glass.