Anterior & Posterior Chains

Chains are definitely lesser discussed than other anatomical functions.
Understanding your Anterior & Posterior chains though will undoubtedly help your fitness, progression & performance whilst reducing your risk of injury and skeletal imbalance.

What are they?

The Anterior Chain:
This refers to the muscles on the front side of the body including:
– Pecs
– Quads
– Core
The anterior chain plays a vital role in controlling forward movement, an essential in nearly all sports especially where direction changes are needed. Further to this your core muscles provide the foundation of all movement and power, an undeveloped or weak core will prevent you from training/progressing beyond a certain point as well as increasing the risk of falls.

The Posterior Chain:
This comprises of the muscles on the rear of the body, including:
– Hamstrings
– Glutes
– Lats
– Traps
– Rotator Cuff & Scapula Retractors
The Posterior Chain is responsible for holding us upright, without it we would flop forwards. Additionally they allow us to generate backwards force such as rowing and pulling.

How Can I Train My Chains:

Anterior Chain Exercises:
– 
Bench Press & Push Ups
– Planks, Sit Ups, Leg Raises
– Leg Extensions, Squats & Lunges

Posterior Chain Exercises:
– 
Cable Pull Throughs
– Hamstring Curls
– Rows, Lat Pull Down & Pull Ups
– Deadlift

Training For Balance:

Whatever your goals are it remains important that you have a balanced training plan unless you are training to address an existing imbalance, eg. a front chain dominant physique.

We recommend for every Anterior exercise or workout you do that you then do a Posterior exercise or workout… You could split this in many ways, an easy way to do so is to simply have 2 workout days, #1 Anterior & #2 Posterior…you could then use a 3rd session to address any muscles missed (delts & calfs etc) or run a hybrid workout that contains key lifts from each chain.

Using large, compound movements as detailed above will also aid you in recruiting the most muscle fibres and secondary muscles such as the Biceps & Triceps.

A balanced training plan and physique will not only provide the best platform for fitness, progress & performance but will also minimise your risk of developing structural issues such as pelvic tilt & shoulder instability.

We hope that this is helpful, we’re happy to help you apply this if you simply give us a shout.

Happy Healthy,
Tom’s

Winter Vegetable Soup

Warm up with this simple & nutritious Winter Vegetable Soup…

Serves: 4
Prep: 10 Minutes
Cook: 45 Minutes

Ingredients:
Carrot 330g
Swede 250g
Potato 350g
1 leek
1 onion
200g turnip
50g cabbage
1.5ltr veg stock
1 Garlic clove
Thyme
25g butter

  • Chop all the vegetables into small pieces or slice in a food processor
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onions on a low heat until softened
  • Add the leaks and crushed garlic clove and cook for a few more minutes until cooked down
  • Add all the remaining vegetables and stir so coated in the butter
  • Cook for 5 more minutes
  • Add the vegetable stock and thyme. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 mins or until vegetables are soft.
Allow to cool and blend.
Serve & Enjoy

Challenge Yourself

Who doesn’t like the feeling of achievement?!

Setting yourself Goals & Challenges is a great way to stay motivated and something to work towards, to cap it all off at the end you get an unrivaled sense of achievement…

Your goals don’t have to be huge, they could be something as simple as improving your lap time around the park by 1 minute in the next month.

The key to setting goals & challenges is to keep them SMART…We’ve mentioned SMART goals before and undoubtedly will again, for now here is a little reminder…

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At the end of every GOAL should be a reward whether internal or external….Last Sunday that’s exactly what we got when we took some of our Boot Campers to an 5k Inflatable Obstacle Race…Not only did we all get medals and freebies but of us including our trainers felt an immense sense of achievement that already has us focused on finding our next challenge.

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What will your next challenge be?

 

What Is Pre-Exhaust Training?

As the name suggests, Pre-Exhaust training is  a system that aims to Exhaust/Fatigue a certain muscle group. This is done using an isolation exercise such as a flye or extension before moving on to a compound lift such as a press or squat.

Why Use Pre-Ehxaust?
It is important to understand that muscles work in pairs to perform movements, for example the chest pairs with the triceps to push whilst the back pairs with the biceps to pull.
With this in mind, picture the size difference between the biceps and the back, which one do you think will fatigue first?  Given the biceps considerably lower size and power output its very likely that their fatigue would prevent us from fully overloading the back.

This is where Pre-Exhaust training comes in, by using an isolation exercise such as a reverse flye we can start to fatigue the back without placing stress on the biceps, this ultimately will allow us to perform a greater volume on the compound exercise.

Studies have shown that Pre-Exhaust training is an effective method for allowing a greater volume of work resulting in greater overload and muscular adaptation.

How Do I Use Pre-Exhaust?
Perform 1-2 isolation exercises on your target muscle group (3-4 sets each) before moving to 2 compound exercises (3-4 sets each).Isolation Exercises:

  • Chest: Flyes, Cable Cross Over
  • Back: Reverse Flye, Reverse Cross Over, Straight Arm Pulldowns/Pullovers
  • Shoulders: Side Lateral Raises, Front Lateral Raises,
  • Legs: Leg Extensions, Hack Squats, Leg Presses or Squats

Why Should I Drink Water?

Given the recent spells of hot weather it’s no surprised that we were recently asked ‘why do I need to drink more water?’.

We all know that staying hydrated is important, here’s a simple guide to why:

– your body is ~60% water
– water is used in the cleansing of the blood and removal of waste (kidneys & liver)
– water aids digestion & helps metabolise fat
– you lose water through the production of energy, cooling, breathing & numerous other functions
– the warmer you are from exercise or climate the more you sweat in an attempt to cool down
– therefore if you don’t replace it you begin to dehydrate, disrupting your bodily functions
– dehyradation can have serious effects of your liver & kidney function and lead to
– water keeps the blood runny allowing it to circulate easily, thick, dehydated blood is harder to pump which increases blood pressure and places stress on the heart

…The UK government recommends: we drink 8 glasses a day which = 2litres…
>>> If you wait until you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated….

TOP TIP
1) Fill 4x 500ml water bottles in the morning and make sure they’re empty by bed time…take them everywhere you go….Take small sips regularly rather than occasional , large gulps…
2) You can flavour your water with sliced fruit, mint, sugar free squash & herbal tea to make it more interesting

Sea Bass, Roast Veg & Sweet Pot Wedges

This simple recipe is a low fat, high fibre dish that requires minimal effort but tastes great.

Prep: 5  minutes
Cook: 30-40 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
– 2 sea bass fillets
– 1 red onion
– half a yellow pepper
– half a red pepper
– half a courgette
– handful of cherry tomatoes
– handful of mushrooms
– black pepper
– herbs of your choice
– paprika
– rapeseed oil
– 2 medium sweet potatoes 

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180-200c (fan) depending on your over, ours is a beast
  2. wash and slice 2 sweet potatoes into wedges (skin on)
  3. add wedges to preheated baking tray, season to taste with paprika, pepper and a light drizzle of oil – shake in pan to evenly coat
  4. bake for 15-20 mins – until wedges start to soften
  5. whilst baking the wedges wash and chop veg into a deep baking tray
  6. season with herbs of choice, we chose fresh rosemary, pepper & dried mixed herbs, drizzle very lightly in oil
  7. add to oven, stirring wedges & veg occasionally
  8. 10 minutes later: heat a frying pan with 1-2 drops/sprays of oil
  9. once hot add the Sea Bass Skin down, cook 70% skin side down for a crispy skin, turn over briefly
  10. Cook until fish turns white throughout
  11. Serve & Enjoy