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 Focusing on Stabilizers... 
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Post Focusing on Stabilizers...
**Compliments of BDP from TFF**


We measure success in the gym in various ways and for some of us that includes how easily we perform certain lifts. In order to improve on those lifts we tend to place our focus on, logically enough, those lifts. We bench and squat until the cows come home but even though it seems to be the logical approach is it the right approach?

During any multi-chain, or compound, movement we use muscles in a primary capacity and other muscles in a secondary capacity. The secondary muscles are used to stabilize and control the weight but are not directly responsible for moving the weight so it is easy to forget these muscles. That is where we go wrong.

Increasing the muscles responsible for stability during say a bench press, allow our primary muscles to do their job with greater easy and efficiency. Look at it this way, if you are trying to bench 215 but you are using all your strength and energy simply to hold the bar steady overhead or trying to keep it from moving out of it's "pocket' by straying closer to the head or further south toward the stomach you are going to fail the lift.

To increase your bench instead of focusing on just chest and triceps try focusing on biceps, rear delts, lats and serratus muscles. By allowing them to do their job more effectively you may find that your bench becomes more easily controlled and more steady which will allow you to push more weight more confidently.

Let's say you are having trouble with your squat. You could try to increase quad strength by doing leg presses and extensions until the second coming or you could try to focus on the muscles that support you during the squat, namely the abs, Internal and external obliques, erector spinae, adductor longus and the calves. While most of these muscles get some stimulus during the exercise, by working them individually you can increase their performance which will increase the overall performance of the whole body during the squat.

If military presses are where your efforts seem to be lacking you could attack the obvious muscles like the triceps and front delts or you could focus on the secondary muscles like the lats, the serratus, the rear delts, abdominals and both internal and external obliques and, surprisingly enough, the upper pectorals. Though they are a small player in the game increasing their ability ensures that every link in the chain is as strong as it can be thereby giving you the best odds of marked improvement for the exercise.

The saying "the devil is in the details" is true even when lifting.

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Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:19 am
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