MATRIX Personalized Fitness
More than just your muscles

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Shane Sauer 0:01

Hey! I'm Shane from MATRIX Personalized Fitness. In our final video of the Foundation Of Fitness series, we're going to be talking about some of the little details that might have gotten overlooked in the first few videos.

Shane Sauer 0:15

In the first three videos of the Foundations Of Fitness series, we went through the muscles that are involved in horizontal pushing and pulling, vertical pushing and pulling, as well as the leg musculature. In those videos I gave a number of exercises that teach you how to use a certain part of your body. I highly recommend doing those exercises as your own workout. But, when you're doing them, there's two things that you really need to know.

Shane Sauer 0:42

The first thing is that the exercises are designed to be an isolated squeeze. What that means, is that the sensation is just in the muscle that you're trying to target and feel. When you first start doing them that's going to be really hard to do. Particularly, with the muscles on the back side of the body. You might feel, as you're doing you're pulling exercise for the Rhomoids, that your traps are getting involved. But as you practice and practice, you will begin to isolate the musculature even more, so that you're not having those extra muscles getting involved. This becomes really important in future workouts. Because if you're trying to work the Rhomboids in a horizontal pull, and you start getting neck pain from that exercise, it might be because you're engaging the traps too much. Learning to isolate and differentiate between the two can be a real powerful way of eliminating those nuisance pains.

Shane Sauer 1:30

Secondly, and as I mentioned in those previous videos, you really want to pay attention to the difference between the squeeze sensation, and the stretch sensation. That's why both are included in each one of the drills. That becomes really important when you're working out. Because if you can't tell the difference between what it feels like squeeze what it feels like the stretch, it becomes a lot harder to work the muscles you're trying to work. For instance, we talked about muscles being paired, like the chest and the back muscles are paired with each other. While I'm squeezing my chest, there's a good chance I might feel my back stretching. But if I don't know the difference between those sensations, I might think that I'm working my back when I'm actually working the chest. So, be very careful to pay attention to how those sensations are different. So you can apply that when you move into more functional movements.

Shane Sauer 2:18

Now the last part that I want to talk about in this additional video is something called isometric, eccentric and concentric contractions. And the reason this is important is because when you're doing a horizontal push or a pull, whether you're going up or down, you're still always working the same muscle. So let me demonstrate that for you.

Shane Sauer 2:42

If we're practicing the push up, if I'm just holding a position, that's called an isometric contraction. Because the muscle is squeezing, it's working. And, if you remember, the push up is for the chest, but it's not moving at all. That's the isometric contraction.

Shane Sauer 3:01

We have is eccentric and concentric as well. When our muscle is shortening, we're squeezing it, and we're actually creating the movement we're trying to create, that's a concentric contraction. And when we're lowering in and controlling the movement, it is an eccentric contraction because the muscle is stretching while it's working. You don't have to remember the names of these terms. But what is important to know, is that while I'm doing that push up, when I'm pushing away, and I'm moving against resistance or against gravity, the muscle is shortening and it's squeezing. When I'm moving forward into the stretch of the muscle, it's still that particular muscle that's working. If I wasn't squeezing my chest, during the lowering phase, I would be falling at the speed that gravity pulls me. But because I'm falling at a much slower rate, it means I'm still using my chest muscle, I'm just not creating as much force as my body weight, so I'm slowly losing that battle. Then when I apply more force than my body weight in the concentric push, the muscle contracts, and I move back up. Hopefully that makes sense.

Shane Sauer 4:10

Remember, the important things to get from this video is when you're doing your squeezing exercises, you want to make sure that you're able to isolate the muscle you're trying to work. And that you also learn the difference between what it feels like to stretch and what it feels like squeeze. When you're doing functional movement exercises, like a squat. As I'm going down, my muscles are stretching but the muscles I'm trying to work are still working, because they're making me move slowly. Then. as I shorten the muscles and really squeeze them more firmly to come back up, that's the concentric contraction. So every time you're doing a horizontal push, it's your chest in both directions. A horizontal row, back muscles in both directions. Vertical push, shoulders in both directions. Vertical pull, back muscles in both directions. And when you're using your legs as you're coming up, quads, glutes and hamstrings. And when you're lowering down, it's still quads, glutes and hamstrings. I hope you found that informative and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.