>For many people, it seems to make sense to only focus their training on what they can actually see in the mirror.
For most it may just be providing the motivation to keep going on a fitness program. Six pack abs, puffed up chest, massive biceps…how can you NOT focus on this! Well sorry to say it, but the first priority in your training, regardless of your goal, should be to prioritize the training of your posterior chain.
Your posterior chain is made up of the largest muscle group of your body – your back, butt and hamstrings. Making this area the priority of your training will result in successful fat loss, athletic performance, injury prevention, overall strength and muscle hypertrophy. By solely focusing on the muscles that you can only see in the mirror, you will run into a myriad of painful problems like kyphosis (think of the hunchback of Notre Dame). This is common in those who don’t pay attention to those back muscles you just can’t see in the mirror.
Athletic performance is highly affected by the strength and power of what is behind you and we all know the major effect of core training on performance is also highly dependent on the posterior chain. It may seem odd to you that while the majority of the movements in a particular sport seem to focus on forward movements like throwing a punch , throwing a baseball or kicking a soccer ball, and running forward, the force and power of those movements actually for the most part come from the muscles behind you. Think of sprinters with great butts!
If you’re looking for fat loss we all know that the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be, which has an incredible energy need simply while you are not even moving! Not to mention that by focusing on the major muscle groups of your posterior chain – as opposed to the “showy beach muscles” like chest, abs and biceps – your caloric burn during your workout will also be much higher.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of muscular imbalances if you are new to a sport or training, as you ARE often moving in a forward motion with more emphasis on the anterior muscles during your athletics. If you are not working with a coach or trainer, you may feel that these are the muscles to focus on; but this just is not the case.
This actually emphasizes the importance of not only practicing your sport but practicing a well-balanced strength training program with the help of someone who can properly plan a program. With the right trainer, you will better generate force, power and torque and prevent muscle imbalances that lead to injuries. It is often what is less obvious to the human eye that is worth paying more attention to and this even applies to training and athletics.