When I started personal training 6 years ago it was all I heard. "Stretch your hip flexors and strengthen the posterior chain if you want to be athletic and powerful."
So I deadlifted, kettle bell swang, pull upped and grimmaced in the couch stretch for minutes on end. Coming from a running background my hamstrings were strong relative to my quads and I was comfortable with a hip hinge and I have long ass arms so deadlifting was no problem. I had always been strong at pulling so I guess I was set. More pull ups, deadlifts and sprints would make me a beast right?
Fast forward a few years and I am taking the Chek Exercise Coach cert. We are measuring our lumbar curve and pelvic tilt and I find that I have a flat back and according to Chek am at risk of a bulging disk. Especially if I kept tightening up my hammies and glutes. According to Chek i needed to stretch my hammies and strengthen my hip flexors and quads. Lucky for me at this same time I was getting interested in gymnastics and bored with traditional strength training.
I started doing leg raises, l-sits, tuck ups, knee raises, straddle leg lifts and push ups on dips on dips. I felt more athletic and well rounded than ever before. But wait, I was focused on the muscles that all the experts said would lead to poor posture, surely I would be a victim of upper lower cross syndrome if i kept working so hard on my anterior chain!!
Yes I am being a bit facetious here of course but the point I am making is this. Don't follow the heard, don;t trust the status quo and don;t be a sheep. Blaze your own path and make conscious decisions about your health. We all get caught up in trends and I have definitely fell victim to it as this story illuminates and I will probably get fooled again but less so if I think critically about my health , business and family choices.
In fitness, strive for balance. If there is something you suck at you should probably be doing more of it. In my case it was squatting. At one point my deadlift was 2x my squat....oops! If you are lacking mass somewhere throw some muscle on there! I have always had small pecs. Finally after thinking about things in a balance fashion instead of following the status quo I realized I wouldn't become a hunchback if I focused on chest and nowI look better and my shoulders feel better. Yes, you heard me right, my shoulders feel better because I do more pec isolation work.
Think for yourself. Be unique and do you. Please post below with any questions and comments...in the meantime I'll be blasting my pecs and quads ;)