Front and Center: The Exercise You Are Not Doing
By Michael J. Casey, Ph.D., CSCS
The front and center position is one of the most popular exercises used in strength training programs worldwide. However, it’s not always what people think it is when they hear the term “front” or “center.”
The truth is, the front and center position isn’t just some static hold that requires no effort whatsoever. Rather, it’s a dynamic movement that involves both active and passive muscles working together to produce force.
When performed correctly, the front and center position can improve your overall strength development while simultaneously improving your athletic performance.
What Is A Dynamic Movement?
A dynamic movement refers to any type of motion involving muscle action with little or no rest between movements.
For example, a person performing a forward lunge will require little or no rest between each step. If done correctly, the body should move through its full range of motion during every single step.
In contrast, if someone were to perform a backbend without resting between each bend, then their body would only move through its full range of motion once! This is why many people incorrectly believe that the front and center position is simply a static hold—it’s not!
What Are The Benefits?
The front and center position is probably among the most important exercises that people tend to overlook. Yet, it’s probably one of the most effective exercises for increasing overall strength.
It’s important to note that every time you perform a front or center position exercise, you will also train certain stabilizing muscles to assist in the movement.
This is why many people also believe that the front and center position can improve overall athletic performance as well. The ability to develop and coordinate multiple muscles at once is a great benefit for any athlete.
The front and center position can also be used to effectively activate deep core muscles. This is important not only for performance but also for injury prevention as well.
When performing a front and center exercise, your body will naturally adjust the position of your limbs to find its own center of balance. In other words, you have to work harder in order to maintain proper form.
This added benefit can help prevent posture problems such as a weak or overly arched back.
Sources & references used in this article:
Terry White: A Two-Front Negotiation Exercise by PG Schrag – W. Va. L. Rev., 1985 – HeinOnline
The 6 Grittiest Trap Exercises You’re Not Doing by N Tumminello – bodybuilding.com
The 6 Grittiest Chest Moves You’re Not Doing by N Tumminello – bodybuilding.com
Perceived exercise barriers, enablers, and benefits among exercising and nonexercising adults with arthritis: results from a qualitative study by S Wilcox, C Der Ananian, J Abbott… – Arthritis Care & …, 2006 – Wiley Online Library
Doing Bayesian data analysis: A tutorial with R, JAGS, and Stan by D King, FC Mace – Mental Retardation, 1990 – search.proquest.com