Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reactive Abs Part 3

From the May '09 Journal of Strength & conditioning research. "Ballistic Abdominal Exercises: Muscle Activation Patterns During 3 Activities along the Stability/Mobility Continuum."- an excellent article out of Canada by Dr. Stuart McGill.

I don't want to beat this "proper firing pattern" thing to death, but the evidence based practice on this stuff is slim & none. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with bridging. If you're working with wrestlers or soldiers who need to get off their backs in a hurry, it would be a good idea to include some in your repertoire. But if you're doing it to improve glut firing patterns, you'll have to do a lot more to convince me.

In this study, Dr. M studied the firing patterns of the abdominal muscles in 3 different activities: tightening your tummy as if you were about to get punched in the gut, doing one of Bruce Lee's famous "1" punch", & pitching a baseball. The firing, resting, & sequencing of the 3 were all different. He concludes by stating, "...we do know that the demands for stiffness, stability, force, & moment production cause different patterns of contraction", & ""muscles must be stiff enough to ensure joint stability but not too stiff to impede movement, in turn, making for a slower/weaker throw or punch".

Remember the glut muscles; like the abs also act in concert with each other, and muscles about the pelvis. Think of the 2 innominates as being the scapulaes of the lower extremity; feeding information back & forth between each other as well as to the UE & LE. You can train a muscle to do anything, it doesn't mean it's the right thing. The proper glut firing patterns that it takes to decelerate a shoulder rotating at 7000 degrees per second is different than the firing patterns it takes Shakira's glutes to shake it on stage is different from the firing patterns of Usain Bolt's glutes running a world record 100 meters.

Someone please give me a better explanation than this. Until then, I'll stick with a good sequential warmup any day. And let the glutes figure it out for themselves.


JH said...


You lost me at Shakira's Gluts.

Joe Przytula said...

Hummm, you will have to go Youtube & download "Hips don't lie". Excellent motor control of the pelvis. No dysfunction going on there.