I'll draw this diagram like this
again. We do need to be careful with
wording and every once in a while you hear me correct something you say,
it's not because I really care about your grammar, I don't, but every once in a while
we need to be careful how we word things, because I hear people go, 'long and weak'
and then they go, 'short and tight,' or 'short and strong'. They'll say something
that doesn't quite make sense. So what you should know,
let's say this is my hip, I keep going back to this example, it's a good example,
this is my pelvis, this is my femur, these are my hip flexors, and this
is my what? If this was the backside what would this be? Glutes. So this is long, and this is
short, we've got that. Usually, not always, we're going to see some examples where
this doesn't happen, long also means under active, and short usually is
overactive. So, rather than short and strong, it's just over active. Now, generally
speaking short muscles are about a third stronger than long muscles, but they're
still weaker than they should be. The only reason they're a third stronger is
because they're involved in everything. They get a little bit more conditioned than
these, but they're both weak. In some rare instances what you will find
is, there is long
and overactive. Those are some troublesome muscles. Take your hamstrings for
example. They get long. They get pulled long by an anterior pelvic tilt.
You feel like your hamstrings are involved in everything if you get jacked
up in your lower leg or your hip. Your hamstrings will not shut down. So we
can't exactly say that your hamstrings are long and under active, it all
has to do with neural stuff. That's cool?
We're actually going to leave this up here as we go through these because it'll be a
good example to keep coming back to. Have you ever heard the term hypertonic and
hypotonic. Another couple of vocabulary words you'll want to write down. Hypertonic means
overactive. So you can put
and this would be hypotonic. -The only way you could have a a long
muscle and it be overactive is if it's neurologically overactive, it could never be
mechanically overactive. Is there a difference? I don't know if anything is ever mechanically
overactive or interactive. So what's the what's the root
word of hypotonic and hypertonic. Tonic. Tonic refers to what?
Tone. Tone itself as a neural thing. So all that's controlled by
the nervous system. It has to do with something called our gamma
system. So we basically have two different types of fibers that come out
of our CNS, or rather our spinal cord, to our muscular system. One set is
to contract our muscles, another set goes to our muscle spindles, and those muscle
spindles through another feedback mechanism, control how toned we are.
So this whole thing is all neural. Even if it's something that's under active, its neural. I
just answered your question. But there's overactive or under active, long or short,
the overactive, under activity part, that's all neural control. How many
of you have heard of reciprocal inhibition? So,
one of the reasons this is under active is because of reciprocal inhibition. So
follow my logic here, if this becomes short, short muscles have a propensity to
become overactive, that gamma system is charged. Well once the muscle turns on
what is it supposed to do to it's functional antagonist? It's
supposed to turn this off. Well if this is overactive it's always turned on,
so that means this is always turned off. It starts creating a
vicious cycle really fast. Now, one thing I do want you to understand about
reciprocal inhibition that I think gets a little mistaught in out industry, it's not
on-off. It's toned up, and toned down. Are you with me there? So just because this
is overactive, doesn't mean this can't fire at all. It won't fire as much if
this is a little tight. A little tight, a little off. Really tight, really
off. Like it's on a dimmer switch, not a flicker switch.
-Which one do you go to first? Which one happens first? -I had the
conversation a couple of months ago because my experience is tight hip flexors, I did foam rolling and stretching,
after I start with activating the glutes, then my hip flexors just released. He said because of synergistic dominance I would not be able to fire my glutes, but it was my own experience I
was able to. That confused me.
So there's a couple of
arguments here, that we can somehow activate our way out of flexibility
issues, and I know there's some schools of thought that would think that that's
fine. With a really stubborn muscle, you might try to do a little bit of
activation work and there are some other techniques that you could do and then go into
your flexibility training. Generally speaking, this is like a
general rule to set down before we start looking at more
complicated ways of doing things. If you don't have the range of motion, you can't
activate yourself into it. It doesn't mean that you can't fire your glute. Like
I said, this is tone up, tone down, not turn off. If I only have, let's say, optimal
hip extension is 15 degrees, so just past that neutral position, but
let's say my hip flexor only lets me get to here. When I go to activate my glute
I'm only activating it to 0 degrees. I don't have the other 15 degrees. There's no way to get there. My hip flexor
is just going to stop me because it isn't long enough. So then we go back
to another rule. Do you remember isometrics got really popular about a
decade ago? What's the problem with isometric training?
You actually would only end up strengthening the muscle at a certain angle.
You only get about 15 degrees sway at a joint that
you actually get an increase in strength out of, and then the rest of the range is
not strengthened by an isometric. It's like, yeah this strengthens your
biceps to hold a really heavy weight right here, but it really only
strengthens your biceps right here. If I do my activation work and not my
flexibility work first, I strengthen my glute through the range of motion I
already had, but where do I need to strengthen my glute? In the range of motion
I lost. Because until I strengthen my glute there, I won't keep it. I won't use it. I
won't feel comfortable in that new position. So generally speaking this is
one of the reasons why I think flexibility from the corrective
standpoint is probably the most important component. We have to get our
range of motion back before we're going to get optimal strengthening, which you
still have to do to get a permanent change in our posture. Does that make sense?
So, synergistic dominance, which we've already been referring to, this is kind
of a circular conversation, these six definitions are all embedded in
each other. So this is short,
reciprocally inhibiting this, being our glute. So this is our hip flexor, this
is our glute. Well, if I need to do a hip extension, and I don't have a glute, am I just
not going to do hip extension anymore? Hip extension is kind of important to daily
activity, right? How are you going to get out of that chair without hip extension?
You still need something to be able to do hip extension.
So what are we going to do? We're going to call in our synergists.
Which, in this case, is going to be who? Hamstring, specifically your biceps
femoris. The big overactive synergist for the glute max
is biceps femoris. So we've got this coming in, and once it becomes the
overactive synergist and you start training that way, what's going to
happen to the neural drive of that muscle? It's going to start toning up.
So we've got hip flexors, toned up, hamstrings, toned up, glutes toned down.
We're starting to create a pretty jacked up relationship. Then realize too, and
I know you have seen this in your clients, this isn't just stronger, this
also fires faster, fires before it's supposed to, maybe fires in movements
that it's not related, like you try to go into hip flexion and your hamstrings fire.
That stuff happens. When we stay toned down, it's not just weaker,
it's also a timing thing. So it not only fires less hard, it fires late which is
part of the problem here too. That just keeps leading to the deconditioning. I go to
do a squat and my hamstrings fire first, and then my glutes kind of come along for as