Sunday, February 25, 2024

Spend more time working big muscles

I spend a fair amount of time in high school and college weight rooms, working with a variety of athletes and teams. This past September and October, I worked with an area high school girls basketball team, in their weight room, helping them prepare for the upcoming season.

As is the case in most schools, there are multiple teams sharing the weight room at any given time, and the girls shared the weight room with the freshman football team.

As I observed them, I could have sworn that these young men did more sets of biceps curls and triceps extensions than all other exercises, combined. It was comical and — ultimately — ridiculous (35-40 of them were being “supervised” by one coach).

If you’re like these guys, investing a significant portion of your gym time working on your biceps and triceps, you’ve got it backward. It’s not that those muscles aren’t important, but your bicep is the size of an orange for a reason.

Your smaller muscles exist to assist larger muscles with the important stuff — pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, and throwing.

The next time you’re in the weight room (and every time thereafter), do your heavy lifts first and focus the majority of your strength training efforts on exercises that work the big muscles, like squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, chinups, and pullups.

Exercises that target your legs, chest, and back — working multiple joints and muscle groups — provide the greatest return on your workout investment. And your smaller muscles will get plenty of work in the process.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Steve Hare
Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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