Individual Variations In Hip Mobility

hip mobility

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

Without taking into account the individual differences in muscle elasticity and ligament laxity, it’s bone shape of the hip joint that determines the main variation in hip mobility.

It’s mainly in the amplitude of hip abduction that bone configuration plays an important role.

Examples

  • An almost horizontal femoral neck (coxo vara) with an upper edge of the important cotyloid cavity and covering, will limit abduction movements.

  • An almost vertical femoral neck (coxa valga) with an upper edge of the less important cotyloid cavity will facilitate abduction movements.

This means that it is useless to raise the leg very high laterally if the morphology doesn’t allow it.

Attention

If someone forces the hip’s abductions, femur’s neck will bump on the cotyloid cavity edge. And this person will compensate the lateral raise of the leg with a pelvic tilt on the femur head of the other leg. It should be added that forcing oneself to make abduction sets may, over time, create microtraumas in some people that will cause excessive development of the cotyloid cavity upper edge. This has the consequence of limiting the hip’s mobility and creating painful inflammations.

hip mobility abduction

hip mobility abduction

hip mobility abduction coxa vara valga bone morphology

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-Steph

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Understand How Your Workout Works In Your Body (Part 2)

body anatomy workout organs

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read the Part 1, click here.

Knowing your type of morphology (ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph) helps a lot to select a training program.

Morphology

morphology endomorph ectomorph mesomorph

Ectomorph

An ectomorph tends to be thin, and struggles to gain weight as either body fat or muscle. They can eat piles of food and stay looking the same, even when gaining muscular weight is their biggest goal. People who battle to gain muscle are often known as “hardgainers.”

Ectomorphs tends to have a lean build, long limbs, and small muscle bellies. Even if an ectomorph manages to put on weight, they may still look skinnier than they are, particularly in the calves and forearms.

Being an ectomorph doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be weak, though. You can still get remarkably strong, and you can be every bit as fit and healthy as someone who looks larger and more muscular. But if you want to gain weight, you’d better be prepared to eat like you’ve never eaten before.

Mesomorph

The mesomorph has a middle-of-the-road build that takes the best of both worlds. They tend to have wide shoulders, a narrow waist, relatively thin joints, and round muscle bellies.

In short, if you’re a mesomorph, you have a natural tendency to be fit and relatively muscular. Does this mean you can do nothing, eat everything, and get away with it forever? Definitely not—and you’re not necessarily healthier than the other two types, either. But you may be able to “bounce back” from being out of shape more easily than the other two body types, gaining muscle and burning fat with comparative ease.

Endomorph

The endomorph tends to gain weight and keep it on. Their build is a little wider than an ectomorph or mesomorph, with a thick ribcage, wide hips, and shorter limbs. They may have more muscle than either of the other body types, but they often struggle to gain it without significant amounts of accompanying body fat. If you ever feel like you gain 5 pounds simply walking by a donut shop, you may be an endomorph.

This definitely doesn’t mean that an endomorph can’t be healthy. They can be every bit as strong, healthy, and capable as the other two groups, and may actually have some strength advantages due to their additional muscle mass. But if and when they decide to lean out, it’ll take hard work!

If you don’t know your morphology type, you can click here .

It’s important to understand that our body is changing all the time due to the environment, age and food. That’s what this theory of Ecto, Meso and Endo is important for me to have results. I know there are people who don’t believe in this theory. My advise is to test this theory about yourself and see if it works or not.

There is also the skeleton and muscle genetics that influence muscle development.

You know, when I started to train seriously, my body responded well to exercises in the first year. I was happy, my body changed quickly. And all of a sudden BOOOOM, my body’s evolution stagnated. I started to worry and I think you know what I’m talking about.

Muscle mass

body anatomy workout muscle

Your muscle mass is decided by the stress that you will give to your muscle. The more you stress your muscle, the more it will respond. The more you rest, the more your muscle will respond. When you rest, your muscle recovers and your nervous system recovers. Understanding how much stress you put on your muscles is as important as knowing the difference between a set with high reps or low reps.

Look this example in my gym, click here.

You can’t walk around and talk to everyone in your gym like you’re in bar. The gym is not a bar ! When I started using the intensification methods, that’s where I really gain muscle.

Many people ask me if it’s possible to gain muscle and be shredded at the same time. The answer is that the first year of training, yes. In the beginning, you will gain muscle and burn fat, because you’re doing more intense physical activity than the year before.

But when you stop to train for more than 2 weeks , you have muscle atrophy and you start to store more fat.

If you spend several months without training, your muscles will turn into fat. The muscle is a tissue (soft tissue) and the fat is a tissue (adipose tissue). You understand !?! I know, I lost you and it’s the case for many people. The muscle and the fat are both cellular tissue.

It’s for this reason that you always need to continue to train because the more you train, the more you will gain muscle mass. And to gain muscle mass, you need to pay attention to your diet and recovery (sleep).

That’s the basis for gaining muscle. I know that on internet, there are several influencers like Christian Guzman , Steve Cook , Marc Fitt  who can say things that others dispute. But if you look deeper, there is only one way to gain muscle (regular training, diet and sleep), influencers explain only variants so don’t panic.

Conclusion

To explain it simply, you have your muscle and behind your muscle, there is fat. Fat is all the time waiting for the muscle works less to cover the muscle. The less you work on your muscle (muscle atrophy), the more the fat will cover your muscle. After several months without training, you will see in the mirror that you have lost your muscles. And you’re going to say : « Shit ».

Use a simple training program to understand the process for an effective training. It will be long. The 12-weeks training program is only a program that starts the process for your body to change, you need to train regularly all year long.

Stop listening to conflicting advice (it’s just for buzz), it’s the best way to stop you to have a better body. Choose a simple training program, adapt it to your schedule and use it all year long.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

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Understand How Your Workout Works In Your Body (Part 1)

body anatomy

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned good stuff.

I will talk about the training or workout. It’s a simple subject but everyone is lost because of theories and training systems.

A training is a physical activity and we will return to the basic seeing the effects of a training in your body.

Why when we train we like to look at ourselves in the mirror and that makes us happy ? This is what we will see.

Training

training workout

Whenever we do an action, there is a reaction. When we’re training (lifting weights), there is an increase in oxygen consumption then, an increase in blood circulation and then, congestion of the muscle. Congestion depends on 3 important things : nutrition, H2O and muscle isolation.

Nutrition must be the best as possible. Water consumption must be high. Learning to master to isolate the targeted muscle during a exercise allows you to increase the possibility of having a huge muscle.

After the congestion (nutrition, H2O, isolation), there is sweat then, there is the release of hormones called endorphins. Endorphins will make you feel good. It’s happiness and it’s at this moment that you will look at the mirror to appreciate your body.

It’s the process of your body when you do a physical activity (training).

All training programs don’t work for everyone

training workout program

There are training programs that are good for you and some are not. To discover this, there are 2 principle :

  • Execution and mastery of the exercise

  • The experience that comes with time

These 2 principles aim to improve your ability to isolate muscle during exercise. Which means working the targeted muscle without the help of another dominant muscle. I wrote an article about it .

Joints

joints body

To master an exercise, it’s also necessary that you know your joints like oversupination, overpronation or valgus. Choose intelligently your exercises allows you to not break your joints (injury, tendinitis and muscle tears). Don’t do an exercise because someone told you it’s the best exercise in the world, choose an exercise adapted to your morphology.

For example for me, I know that I have the valgus , which means that when I do barbell curls to work my biceps, I have pain wrist. When I do barbell curls with an EZ bar, I have less pain. When I do dumbbell curls, I have no pain, it’s perfect. So for me, the best exercise for my biceps is the dumbbell curls and not the barbell curls because I know my joints.

Another example. When I walk, my feet are outside so when I squat my feet are outside and that’s happiness. If a person tells me that I have to squat with my feet in parallel because it’s the best position in the world, I could say : « Shut up, I know my morphology better than you because I have studied my morphology ».

The elements that influence the exercice’s performance are experience, joint’s flexibility and the respect of the biomecanics laws.

That’s why I’m telling you that you shouldn’t validate a piece of advice without having tested it on yourself. On internet, you can find video like « The 5 worst exercises ». These videos aren’t based on different type of morphologies, so they are not relevant information, it’s just to make buzz. If you want to work on your biceps, try several different exercises and keep the one that suits you best.

Here is another story. I watched a Christian Guzman’s video where he was doing the overhead triceps extension with an EZ bar. I did this exercise for 1-2 months and I noticed that I didn’t have a good feeling even if I had a good execution of the movement. I started looking for another exercise of the same type to work my triceps and I found the lying dumbbell triceps extension and now, it’s perfect.

I needed time to learn the exercise, realize that this exercise didn’t fit my morphology and find another better fit.

You may think I lost time testing this exercise for 1-2 months but I gained experience with this story. It’s by testing yourself the things you can know what is good and what is not good for you. Experience is the knowledge of things voluntarily acquired through pratice in the reality of life.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know . Thank you.

-Steph

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How To Do Box Squat

box squat

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

Box squat is often used by powerlifters to gain strength to do squat.

This exercise involves doing a squat sitting on a bench for 1-2 seconds and returning to the standing position .

In classic squat the tension accumulated in the muscles during the negative phase when you get down (as a stretched elastic ) and this tension restored during the positive phase when you get up. With box squat, sitting on the bench relaxed thighs muscle, there is not tension accumulated when you get down to be used when you get up.

For the same weight, quadriceps should provide more effort for box squat than classic squat. It’s a great exercise to target work on thighs.

This exercise can be included in a training program for people who have long legs and don’t feel their quadriceps work with classic squat.

box squat

Starting squat in sitting position allows push automatisms for the classic squat which has the effect of having the positive phase to get up faster and more powerful.

Attention : It’s necessary to be careful for this exercise in controlling the movement to get down to sit gently on the bench. If get down too fast, the butt crash on the bench and this can create serious trauma due to shock and excessive compression of spinal joints.

Note: There are special benches adaptable for different morphologies with a very padded seat to limit the risk of spinal injuries and the possibility of adjusting the height. To have a good execution of the movement, it’s necessary to have your back slightly incline. If your back is too vertical at start of the bench, the exercise will be impossible to do.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know Thank you.

-Steph

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Adapt Your Training To Your Morphology (Part 2)

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

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

If you didn’t read Part 1, click here.

Legs

Improve your squat position

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

To reduce the lower back’s effort and limit the hamstrings tension, it’s possible to do like powerlifters by putting the barbell on posterior deltoids.

This technique decreases the cantilever and increases the power of lifting from the back. This allows you to lift heavier weights.

By using powerlifter of weightlifting shoes (solid raised heel) or a wedge under the heels, this reduces the cantilever by having the buttocks not too back by the advancing knees. This allows for greater amplitudes with the thighs flexion.

With that, we feel better the quadriceps work by limiting the torso’s inclinaison and the work of the gluteus maximus and spinal erectors.

The low barbell and raised heel combination allows you to lift heavier weights. This technique is recommended for rangy people and people with stiff ankles to correct their positioning at squat.

Front squat to target quadriceps

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Front squat limits the torso’s inclinaison. This has the effect of reducing the work of the lower back, decrease the tension of hamstrings muscles and adductor magnus muscle.

On the other hand, front squat increases the cantilever, which forces quadriceps to make more effort to extend the thigh on the leg.

Which means it’s the perfect squat for thighs. But it’s not possible to lift heavyweights like the classic squat and it’s recommended to do it with heels elevated for better stability.

For rangy people, front squat is very hard to do. The torso of rangy people is more inclined, which make it more difficult to hold the barbell which may fall forward during the execution of the movement.

Spread the legs to less incline the torso

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

There is a squat’s technique to limit the torso’s inclination. This involves spreading the legs with the feet outward. Some powerlifters do this technique with the legs almost wide apart. With the legs apart, this limits the legs flexion.

To be able to squat with the legs apart, it’s necessary to have an adequate bone conformation of the hip joint and to be flexible of the thighs adductor muscle. Which means, it’s a technique that can’t be used by everyone.

The advantage of the big belly

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Having a big belly for squat and deadlift allow to compress it against the thighs. This helps to limit the inclination of the torso and the back’s rounding. This has the effect of protecting the lower back and limiting the risk of herniated disc.

It’s for this reason that we can see a lot of heavyweight champion of powerlifting or weightlifting with a big belly. They take care to keep their belly fat with an excessively rich diet.

Different forms of knees

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

In bodybuilding, it’s important to take into account the different morphologies of the individual and especially for the knees.

Arched legs (genu varum) are not more risky than normal legs. For people with X legs (genu varum) or people who can overly extend the thighs (genu recurvatum), it’s often recommanded to not do leg exercises with very heavy weights.

Cases of genu valgum are often :

  • In people who were overweight during their youth when leg bones weren’t fully developed and still « malleable ». Legs are deformed because of the overload. Now, they have this X shape.

  • In women. The fact that women have wider hips to have children, this influences the femurs direction which are generally more inclined.

For people with genu valgum. If the genu valgum is to excessive, the joint would be overused. The medial collateral ligament would be extremely tense. The lateral meniscus, the articular surfaces coated with cartilage of the external condyle of the femur, and the external lateral tuberosity of the tibia would be subjected to excessive friction, which would cause pathologies of wear.

For people with genu recurvatum. These are people who are essentially very flexible named hyperlaxes or women whose muscular and ligamentous hyperlaxity is related to reproductive function.

Rarely pathological, knees with genu recurvatum can sometimes have some problems like the meniscus pinching. This can happen when the knees are rapidly expanding and the meniscus haven’t had enough time to slip, or during an exercise with a heavy weight that has forced the hyperextension of the thigh.

It’s for this reason that it’s recommended to people suffering from a genu recuvatum pathological never to totally block the knees at the end of extension to the squat or to the leg press.

Note

For 2 people who are the same size, it’s important to consider the torso-leg ratio.

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Type A :

People with proportionally long legs and a short torso will have trouble doing a proper squat without tilting their torso excessively forward.

On the other hand, the short torso (which limits the cantilever) facilitates the execution of the good-morning, classic deadlift and Romanian deadlift.

Type B :

People with proportionally short legs and a long torso will have the facility to squat safety without tilting their torso excessively forward. It’s for this reason that the great champions of powerlifting squat specialist have this type of morphology.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

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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

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The Importance Of Counting Calories

count calories

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video and I learned good stuff.

As you already know, food is our energy. The energy from food, we call it calorie. Calories composed of macronutriments : carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.

Count the number of calories

count calories

With carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, we can know the minimum number of calories we need to consume, it’s the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body needs to function without doing any physical activity. That’s the number of calories you burn while you stay in bed all day.

With your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), you can find your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) . Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is the number of calories your body needs in a day when you train.

Total Daily Energy Expediture (TDEE) varies according to your level of activity during the day (the intensity of the tasks you have to do during the day and the intensity of your training).

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is always dynamic because it’s influenced by the Not Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). Not Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is the number of calories you burn in a day when you have no workout. But attention, it doesn’t count the calories you burn when you sleep and eat. It only counts the calories you burn when you walk, read, write, work, study, etc.

As the intensity’s level of your tasks that aren’t a sport activity changes all the time, it changes your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) all the time. Here are 2 scientific studies to better understand the Not Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT), here and there .

Now that you’ve seen your Total Daily Energy Expenditure changes all the time, you need to know that it changes your caloric deficit when you want to lose weight (be shredded) and your caloric surplus when you want to gain muscle.

Lose weight or gain muscle

weight lose muscle gain

The phase for losing weight (be shredded) and gaining muscle influenced by 2 things : morphology (endomorph, ectomorph and mesomorph) and genetics.

Take the example of an endomorph person. An endomorph person is a person who can easily store fat because, it’s a person who has greater resistance to leptin. Leptin is a hormone that manages your metabolism and your appetitie (leptin controls your feeling of satiety). An endomorph person who has this type of information has good tools to know how to manage his/her Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

For my case, I’m a mesomorph person. Which means that I’m a person who is losing weight fast and gaining muscle fast. At first, I didn’t count my calories because it easy for me to maintain a good physique. But since I’ve been studying my body to find out how it works, my results are really better for the long term.

That’s why no matter what your body type, I advise you to take the time to count your calories to have the best body possible in the long term.

I use an app on my smartphone to count my calories (you can scan barcodes). It’s My Fitness Pal. Try it, it’s really helpful.

If you intentionally don’t take care of your health, accidentally, you will have an illness.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

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