13th June 2018

COACH K’S – TRAINING TIP

THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING THE SMALLER MUSCLES(SYNERGISTS)
Picture this crew, I’m at the whiteboard and I’m talking through our strength piece for the day and our assistance strength exercise (e.g. 1 Arm D/Bell Row). This is usually followed by a very blank look on some of your faces when referring to assistance exercises. I get asked by a lot of you elite athletes, what are assistance exercises and what are they assisting exactly? Well my functional friends, get comfortable with your favourite caffeinated beverage and let’s immerse ourselves into all things musculoskeletal.
WHAT MUSCLES WORK WHEN DOING ASSISANTANCE EXERCISES?
The biggest misconception when referring to how skeletal muscles function and how they produce the body’s movements concerns their particular role. Most people think that one particular muscle performs one very defined role and that they always perform this role. It’s not that easy, muscles must work together to produce different bodily movements and a particular muscle’s role may change depending on the movement.I know you thinking, Coach K why are you telling me this? The most important aspect to understand about how muscles function to produce a joint movement is synergy. Synergy prevents imbalances (strength, energetic, postural), which leads to improved movement.
HOW TO GAIN SYNERGY?
I know when I see assistance exercises programmed, my first response is usually along the lines of “Coach I’m a peacock, you gotta let me fly!”. Every CrossFit athlete wants to do the big sexy lifts that involve getting personal bests etc., it is easily forgotten that the accessory exercises/lifts are the ones that are going to help you get the weaker muscles strong, thus leading to the mystical personal bests. Not only do these accessory lifts get you stronger and moving more efficiently they prevent muscle imbalances which in turn can prevent injuries.
RESTORING MOBILITY AND STABILITY
Once you start to focus on these assistance movements or accessory lifts, you will start to restore mobility and stability across the joints in the body as they are working in synergy. Incorporating various movement patterns throughout training will ultimately lead to improvements in both mobility and stability, which positively affect movement quality and performance. Planned diversity in movement patterns will help restore a functional level of balance to the joints in terms of strength and range of motion.If in fact you think you have imbalances and need to be working on your accessory lifts, please get in contact and we can put together a plan to get you moving better and more efficiently.Train Smarter, Not Harder.

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