Broomstick Twists

broomstick twist

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing with your legs apart and the stick placed on your trapezius above your posterior deltoids. Your hands are on the stick but don’t press on it :

Make a torso rotation on one side then the other, keeping your pelvis motionless with an isometric contraction of your glutes.

This exercise works when your right shoulder is forward : the right external oblique, left internal oblique and a little bit rectus abdominis, quadratus lumborum and extensor spinae on the left side.

For more intensity, it’s possible to slightly round your back. A variant is to do this movement sitting on a bench, which will block your pelvis and focus the effort on your abs.

seated broomstick twist

It’s with sets of several minutes that you get the best results.

Attention

Torso rotations are prohibited for people suffering from low back or having had a herniated disc as this may aggravate or resurgence of this lumbar pathology.

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-Steph

Stretching Of Glutes

stretching glutes

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Sitting on the floor with one leg stretched out and the other leg bent with your foot on the floor and moving from the outer side of your leg stretched. Press on the outer side of your knee bent with your opposite elbow. This exercise mainly stretches the muscles of the gluteus maximus and the lateral rotator group (piriformis, gemellus superior, obturator internus, gemellus inferior, quadratus femoris and obturator externus).

Variant

It’s possible to press on your knee with your 2 hands.

lateral rotator group muscles hip

stretching glutes variant

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-Steph

Good Morning

good morning leg exercise

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing with your feet slightly apart. The barbell put on your trapezius or lower on your posterior deltoids :

  1. Inhale and bend you torso forward to the horizontal with your back straight, the axis of flexion passing through coxofemoral joint.

  2. Back to the start position and exhale.

It’s possible to make the movement easier by bending your knees.

This exercise works glutes (gluteus maximus), all spinal muscles and hamstrings (except the biceps femoris short head). Besides the knees flexion, hamstrings have the function of retroversion of the pelvis, which allows to straighten the torso. This action performed when the torso bound by isometic contraction to abs and sacro-lumbar muscles.

To have better feeling on hamstrings, it’s advisable never to work with heavy weight. In negative phase, « good morning » is excellent for stretching the back of the thighs. Work regularly the negative phase of the « good morining » helps prevent injuries to hamstrings during the squat with heavy weight.

good morning leg exercise method straight bent leg

  1. Legs stretched while your torso leans forward, extends hamstrings. This make is easier to feel sensations of hamstrings when you straighten up your torso.

  2. Legs bent while your torso leans forward, relax hamstrings. This facilitates flexion of hip.

good morning leg exercise method straight bent leg

good morning leg exercise pelvis stabilization

good morning leg exercise glutes gluteux maximus hamstings

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-Steph

How To Do Lying Leg Curls

lying leg curls anatomy

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Lying on your stomach on the machine with your hands on the handles and your ankles under pads :

  • Inhale and bend your legs trying to touch your glutes with your heels. Exhale at the end of the movement.

  • Back to the start position by controlling the movement.

lying leg curls anatomy

This exercise works hamstrings, gastrocnemius and in depth popliteus.

hamstings anatomy lying leg curls

In theory, it’s possible to target the work on the semitendinous muscle and semimembranous muscle by making an internal rotation of the foot or to target the work on the femoral biceps, long head and short head by making an external rotation of the foot. But in reality, it’s very difficult that’s why it’s easier to target the work on hamstrings or gastrocnemius :

  • With the foot extended to target the work on the hamstrings

  • With the foot in dorsal flexion to target work on gastrocnemius.

Variant

lying leg curls anatomy alternative

It’s possible to do this exercise by flexing legs alternately.

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-Steph

Angled Leg Press

angled leg press anatomy

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Warning : Using leg press with heavy weight may cause a displacement in the sacroiliac joint, which can lead to contracture.

sacroiliac joint

angled leg press

Installed in the machine with your back on the back pad and your feet a little apart :

  • Inhale and unlock security. Bend your legs as much as possible to have your thighs on the sides of your ribcage.

  • Back to the starting position and exhale at the end of the movement.

The feet’s position allows you to target certain muscles :

  • Feet low on the plate work primary quadriceps

  • Feet high on the plate work primary glutes and hamstrings.

  • Feet apart on the plate work primary adductors.

angled leg press feet position

Note

This exercise is good for people with back problems and who can’t do squat. Attention, it’s necessary not to take off the glutes of the back pad.

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-Steph

How To Do Hack Squat

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Your legs are strained with your back against the backrest. Your shoulders are wedged under the pads with your feet averagely apart :

  • Inhale, unblock security and bend legs.

  • Back to the start position and exhale at the end of the movement.

This exercise works quadriceps :

  • More your feet placed forward and more your glutes work.

  • More your feet are spread and more your adductors work.

Attention : To protect your back, it’s necessary to squeeze your abs to avoid lateral movements of the pelvis and spine.

Adaptation to bipedalism

human being chimpanzee bipedalism glutes

Chimpanzee (who is our close relative) has a large torso size and poorly developed glutes. Because of this, chimpanzee has difficulty in straightening the core and difficulty walking in biped mode.

Human being is the only primate to be adapted to a totally bipedal movement.

The human being developed the gluteus maximus muscles to adapt to bipedalism. It’s for this reason that the torso’s size decreased to facilitate to put the core in the upright position. The human being has something more that the gorilla and the chimpanzee can’t do. The human being can block the knee joint in extension to stay upright with less energy.

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-Steph

Adapt Your Training To Your Morphology (Part 1)

morphology

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

In bodybuilding, it’s really important to take into account individual morphological differences. Especially for squat and deadlift.

Squat and deadlift have a different muscular work for a brevilineal person and a rangy person

A brevilineal person has a proportionally long torso and short limbs. An rangy person has a proportionally short torso and long limbs. This has nothing to do with height, muscle development or adiposity. Which means that a person can be a small fat rangy or a tall skinny brevilineal.

A brevilineal person have facility for squat because their short femurs makes that the torso is little inclined. This limits lower back and hamstring tension. As a result, the movement can be done in relative safety and the brevilineal person can almost exclusively focus on quadriceps work. It’s for this reason that almost all squat champions are brevilineal. An impressive example is that usually dwarves monopolize podiums of small categories in powerlifting.

Rangy people have more difficulty to do squat because their long femurs makes that the torso is very inclined forward. This puts hamstrings, adductors and gracilis in a dangerous position. Rangy people must fight constantly to not be out of balance forward.

It’s also important to pay attention to the back’s position to avoid rounding the back. Having the round back causes serious spinal injuries like the famous herniated disc.

Rangy people doing this type of squat leaning forward works much muscles of gluteus maximus which have the function of straightening the pelvis, torso and all erectors spinae muscles that try their best to avoid the rounding of the back.

As a result, the squat for long limbs is excellent for developing powerful glutes and lumbar spine. On the other hand it requires a lot of concentration for the positioning of the body during the movement. It should be noted that more weights are heavy, the more dangerous the movement’s execution.

For rangy people who really want to work quadriceps, it’s advisable to use incline machine like « hack squat ».

Difficulties change side

change side

For brevilineal people who are the kings of squat, there is a reverse medal. They have a lot of trouble to do deadlift.

Brevilineal people with short legs should bend their legs to take the barbell. Sometimes their femurs are almost horizontal and this position requires a lot of energy to start the movement.

On the other hand, rangy people can take the barbell with their legs half bent. With this position, quadriceps can us the maximum energy to start the movement. The morphology of the rangy people allows them to lift heavier weights than brevilineal people despite a tilt of the gluteus and erectors spinae muscles

It’s for this reason that almost all of the deadlift champions are rangy people.

morphology brevilineal rangy

morphology deadlift

Ankles flexibility

ankle morphology

The ankles flexibility has a great influence on the squat’s execution.

Ankles flexibility may be influenced by musculotendinous limitation (such as significant calves retractions) or bone limitation. For example, if the dorsal flexion (the fact of raising forefoot) is limited, the squat technique is completely modified.

The lack of ankles flexibility limits the shifting of the shins forward and the advanced knees. This makes it necessary to squat with the buttocks very back and the back leaning forward, which has the effect of working intensely the gluteus maximus and the spine erectors muscles.

Squat with an excessive inclinaison of the torso put dangerously tension on the back muscles of the thighs, adductors magnus, gracilis and increase the risk of muscle tearing.

It should be added that the positioning of the femurs below the horizontal has the effect of rounding the back, which increases the risk of vertebral damage. This squat requires a lot of concentration for the positioning of the body during the movement because the more the weigh is heavy and more the movement’s execution is dangerous.

Be careful, whether for the squat or the deadlift, having stiff ankles make it difficult to flex our legs even if the femurs are horizontal.

morphology deadlift

Finally, the cantilevered that is more important for deadlift than squat, this is requires quadriceps to provide more strength to extend thighs on the legs.

To read Part 2, click here.

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-Steph