Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Bridge of Strength

http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/09/2c/af/flower-bridge.jpg
Think about the greatest bridge you have seen in your life. Now imagine being in a car driving at 80 miles per hour and all of a sudden you have to slow down, there is some construction and you are halted to a complete stop. Imagine the hundreds of cars and possibly thousands of cars all immobilized in the go-slow. The bridge, even with all these cars, is resilient to the hundred of thousands pounds of weight. Why? Simple.. it is designed to do so.
If you have ever done a push up with someone on your back you know that it takes a strong core, chest and shoulders to push the person on your back up. Think about the direction you are pushing the individual in and what muscle groups are working. If you really think about it, a push-up is helping you build FOUNDATIONAL strength for your posterior region (back muscles) by strengthening the anterior (Front muscles).
Imagine your body is an arched bridge while in push-up form. Now, what holds up the body bridge? Simple, anterior muscles by the way of taking the load for the posterior muscles. This might be a difficult concept to understand but hang in there, it gets simpler. What if i told you that doing the push-up as we know it is only half of what a true push-up should be? You are probably scratching your brain but the full push-up consists of #1 doing it belly down (the conventional method) and #2 back down (dips) as illustrated below.
http://www.peterboroughrowing.ca/programs/weights/seated_dips.gif

Think about it for a second. The push-up just like the bench press only teaches your body to move objects backwards like the person on your back in my earlier example. Now imagine doing a back push-up with someone sitting on your stomach. Unless your back is as strong as a bridge, capable of carrying one passenger it will fail.
Anterior(frontal muscle) strength is truly inexistent without a strong posterior chain. To simplify, in order to be able to push weight effectively in a frontal plane, such as throwing a discus, you have to have have strong back muscles. Meaning Strong upper, middle, lower back; strong gluts, hamstrings and calves. Working on the posterior chain will ensure greater throwing ability.
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! or email me at 0a4w@virginia.edu

2 comments:

Jeffery said...

You make such awesome articles but I wish that there would be some more discussion on here. It would bring a lot of insight to me, you, and all the rest of the people who read your awesome blog.

Yemi Ayeni (D.M.F) said...

You are right Buddy. All it takes is you leaving a comment like this and I can get the discussion started. Do you have a specific question?