by Tyler Quinn
Let’s face it, as a fitness society, we’re frontally fixated. I’m talking about chests, abs, biceps, and quads. And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Unless you’ve got eyes on the sides of your head, it’s pretty tough to take a critical look at your backside. As a result, our time in the gym can skew itself toward exercises which yield changes to our front and which may neglect everything else.
The fact of the matter is, your fundamental athleticism i.e. your ability to jump, run fast, climb etc. is primarily derived from a group of muscles running down your backside known as the posterior chain. There’s no doubt that while your front side gets the credit, your backside does the work.
Need a solution? You’re in luck. If you’ve been to even one Alchemy class then you’re sure to have heard the instructor reference complete and rapid hip extension. We drive with our hips every time we jump, do a kipping pull-up, push-press, dumbbell snatch, and about a hundred other Alchemy staples – and there’s a reason we harp on this. There’s just no better way to facilitate development and increased strength in the posterior chain than through hip extension. This is because hip extension draws on a symphony of muscular engagement from the glutes, the erectors, the obliques, the hamstrings, the calves and all the connective ligaments and tendons in between to create the single greatest and most functional movement the human body can execute.
Check yourself! If you’re at a gym where you’re not driving your hips open and pulling them closed with speed, against load, your missing the boat.
Here me now: your backside is a very powerful thing of beauty.
Listen, a little love to your front side won’t cost you a thing and nobody can be blamed for wanting to see a piece of artwork every time they look in the mirror. All I’m saying is that a sexy car with no engine is kind of a waste, don’t you think? So next time you’re 15 minutes in to your A20, dig in a little deeper, focus just a little more on your hip extension, your pulling, your jumping etc. and I promise you’ll be making a smart investment in your fitness.
Tyler Quinn is a coach and found of Alchemy and Union fitness. In his spare time, he enjoys pursuing his legend via reading, hockey, gun slinging, jiu-jitsu.