A little known fact in the world of health and fitness is that a tight muscle is more often than not a weak muscle. Yep you heard me correctly, tight muscles are weak muscles.
Which muscles are most often tight AND weak?
Your hamstrings and glutes (collectively known as part of your ‘posterior chain’) are two of the most frequently affected areas. Because we tend to sit down a lot, our buttock muscles and our hamstrings become weak and lengthened. But when we hit the gym and suddenly need to use them they tighten up because they’re not used to working!
The same thing happens with our upper backs. We all tend work chest way more than our upper back and rear delts. The result is a weak upper back that’s being pulled and lengthened. Problem is that the upper back supports loads of other exercises (including your bench press) so as soon as it’s used it tightens up.
What Does This Mean?
In the first example above, weak hamstrings and glutes mean that you’ll always have a sub-optimal deadlift. You’ll also have weaker squats, jumps, Olympic lifts and sprints.
In the second example, a weak and tight upper back will prevent you from achieving a perfect bench press. You’ll also have more trouble holding your position when squatting, deadlifting or doing any kind of pulling movement.
What’s the Solution?
If your muscles are both tight AND weak then you need to do two simple things to sort them out.
(Mobility class 6pm on Thursday will help)
Strengthen your weak muscles. For most people this will mean specifically targeting your glutes, hamstrings and upper back. However, it varies from person to person, so you’ll have to listen to your body and actively look for where you might be weak.
That’s it then, mobility makes you stronger. Sort out your imbalances and I’m willing to bet that you’ll easily add more than 10kg to your big lifts.
Go Get Stronger
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