The Real Way to Train Your Stabilizers (NOT 3 Sets of 10)
Stabilizer Muscles: Shoulders, Traps & Calves
You may have heard the term “stability” or “stiffness”. These terms are used when describing muscle groups that prevent movement from occurring. When you think about it, most movements involve some degree of resistance. For example, if you were to stand up straight with your arms at your sides, you would need to exert some force against gravity. Similarly, if you wanted to move your arm forward slightly, then you would need to apply some amount of force against something.
If there was no resistance present in any form or shape, then movement could not occur.
In other words, muscles act as a means of preventing motion from taking place. They do so by contracting or relaxing in order to maintain a desired position. A muscle will contract if it receives a greater amount of force than it expends. Therefore, muscles must receive sufficient stimulation in order to perform their function properly. If they did not receive enough stimulus, then the muscle would simply remain inactive until stimulated again by another action such as lifting weights or doing pushups.
In most cases, it is not enough to train certain muscle groups in the exact manner in which they are used during an exercise. If this were the case, then many lifters would not experience muscular failure during a set. Muscles usually work together as a team in order to accomplish a particular action. This is the concept of working synergistically in order to achieve the desired result.
Let’s take the shoulder for example. If you were to take a dumbbell and perform a lateral raise, then you would be using only the muscles in your shoulder. The problem with this method is that it does not occur in real life. We usually turn our palms inward (pushing motion) to get something off of the floor. If you were to do a push up, then you would be placing stress on your chest through the use of motion, but not on your shoulders.
Because of this, exercises must be performed in a manner that challenges muscles in a different way. For example, let’s say that you wanted to work out the muscles on the rear part of your shoulder. It would make no sense to do a reverse fly motion because it would involve too much motion at the front of your shoulder. Doing so could potentially put stress on other parts of your body and not enough on the muscles of your back.
So, what do you do?
Well, you can perform isometric contractions for your shoulder. This involves holding dumbbells at the top position of a lateral raise for up to one minute. This causes muscular failure on the rear shoulder muscles because they are forced to maintain their contracted position for an extended period of time.
Another exercise that places stress on your shoulders is the military press. This exercise involves lifting a barbell directly over your head from a motionless position on the ground. If you were to perform this exercise with a heavy weight, then you would also involve your legs and hips because of the involvement of the motion.
By combining isometric training with the military press, you would be placing stress on all of your shoulder muscles because they would all be required to maintain their contracted positions for an extended length of time.
The take home message is this. Muscles contract for a reason. In order to properly target specific muscles, then you must perform exercises that place a great deal of stress on those particular muscles through the use of motion and non-motion.
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4. Muscle groups can be divided into three different categories:
A) Contractile: These are the muscles that produce movement at a joint or series of joints. They are directly involved in the production of movement. There are three types:
1) Prime Movers: These muscles produce the greatest amount of force that is needed for a joint action.
If the movement is small, then there will be more than one prime mover involved. If the movement is large, then there will be only one.
2) Stabilizers: These muscles are secondary in nature and produce less force than the prime movers.
They serve to keep the prime mover in a fixed position relative to the bone so that they produce aligned force.
3) Fixators: These muscles are the smallest in size and serve to fix the bone in place so that it does not slip or slide relative to the joint.
B) Nutrition: These are the muscles that store nutrients for use by other muscles or organs of the body. They may also regulate blood flow to bring nutrients to other muscles or organs that need them.
C) Storage: These are the muscles that store energy for use by the body. They are usually smaller than other muscles and help to maintain a constant reservoir of energy for immediate use.
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5. General strength tips:
A) Get enough rest: Muscles grow while you’re resting, not while you’re exercising. It’s during this time that your muscles rebuild themselves stronger than before. If you don’t get enough rest, then your workouts will not be effective. During your training sessions, your body will start to lose strength after about 20-30 minutes. It will also start to lose muscle mass after about an hour of weight training.
Ideally, you should try to train each muscle group at least twice a week. You can train the same muscle group everyday if you wish, but I don’t recommend it because this will likely lead to more recovery time than necessary.
B) Get enough sleep: Just like rest is important to building muscle, sleep is important for repairing and growing the muscles you already have. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a day.
C) Concentrate your workouts: You don’t need to do a different workout every day, just concentrate on a particular area you want to improve for at least three weeks. After three weeks switch to another area. An example of this is: Week one, work out your chest muscles. Week two, work out your back. Week three, rest.
Week four, work out your biceps. Week five, work out your triceps. Week six, rest. Then begin again with week one and so on…
D) Eat after your workout: It’s very important to eat as soon as possible after a rigorous workout because your body is more susceptible to storing nutrients at this time. Take in about 10-15 grams of protein and 50 grams of carbs.
E) Be consistent: It’s very important to be consistent and patient with your training. In order to see any significant changes, you have to be consistent with your training and patient with your results. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results, everyone is different and these things take time.
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6. The Program:
A) Monday: Chest and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps Barbell Bench Press 3 8-12 Dumbbell Flyes 2 10-12 Incline Dumbbell Press 2 10-12 Skull Crushers 2 10-12
B) Wednesday: Back and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps Barbell Row 3 8-12 Deadlifts 2 5-10 Lat Pulldown 2 10-12 Barbell Curl 2 10-12 Hammer Curl 2 10-12
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A) How often should I eat after working out?
You should eat within 30 minutes of completing your workout. Take in about 10-15 grams of protein and 40-50 grams of carbs. Example: 1 cup of milk and a bagel. This will get absorbed quicker than if you were to have a full meal 2 hours after your workout.
B) Why is it so important to concentrate my workouts?
If you chose an all out assault on your chest muscles one week, and back the next, your other muscle groups (and joints) aren’t getting worked enough to receive the necessary strengthening and recovery time. The same goes for specific body parts. If you pump up your arms one week, don’t do legs the next.
C) What does BMI stand for?
BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It is used to classify people by their weight status based on their height. If you want to know more about it, just Google “BMI” and you’ll find plenty of sites that explain it.
D) Why am I gaining fat?
There are a few reasons why this might be happening.
1. If you eat a lot of junk food, the odds are you’re gaining a little bit of fat with your muscle and weight gain.
This is hard to avoid with some of the heavier carb-rich foods. Just make an effort to eat better.
2. You’re not working out hard enough.
Your body adapts really quickly to a certain level of stress, so you need to always be pushing yourself past your limits or your body will stop getting stronger.
3. You’re not eating enough.
Your body needs a certain amount of calories to function. If you don’t give it enough fuel, it’s going to store what you do give it as fat for later use.
E) I’m gaining a bit of fat, but I also want to lose it.
What should I do?
The first thing you need to do is up your cardio. By doing this you’ll burn off the undesired body fat. After that, you can cut down on your calorie intake a bit and the fat will come off a lot easier. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. You don’t want to lose too much muscle in the process.
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A) Sleep is just as important as eating and working out if you want to achieve maximum results. Your body grows while you sleep.
B) Drink a lot of water. Your body is 80% water, and it needs it to function properly. Being even a little bit dehydrated can severely limit your ability to work out.
C) Listen to your body. If something hurts, don’t train that body part for a few days and maybe use ice to help with the swelling. Taking time off isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a necessity for gaining strength and endurance.
D) Find a routine that works for you. There are so many different types of programs out there that it can get kind of confusing. Find one that fits your needs and stick with it.
E) Just do it! Beating yourself up over not working out isn’t going to help, but once you get started it’ll be easy. You’ll feel better about yourself and you can even beat yourself up after your workout if you still feel the need to do so.
F) Take pictures. If you want to see what your body originally looked like, take some pictures. You’ll be surprised at how much progress you’ll be able to see through pictures.
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9. Before we finish, I have a few extra things I’d like to mention.
A) Parents: I know as a teenager you think your parents don’t understand you or know anything about the world, but sometimes they do know best. If they say you have to be home by a certain time, then please respect that. You don’t want to find out what would happen if you disobey them.
B) Girls: Dating during high school can be tricky, especially depending on where you live. If you’re interested in a girl at your school, just ask her out. If she says yes great, if she says no then you can move on knowing that you shouldn’t be with that girl in the first place.
C) School: This is the time to get all the basics down. You’ll be learning things like math, science, history, etc. These are things you need to learn for the rest of your life.
D) Driving: When you reach the age of 16 (or in some areas 15) you’ll get your permit. Once you have that in hand, get out there and practice driving. A lot. Even if you think you’re a pro at stopping, turning, and going fast, you’re probably not. The more you drive, the better you’ll get.
E) Alcohol and Drugs: I’m not going to tell you not to do them because you’re going to do what you want. But just remember, whatever you do, you’re going to have to pay the consequences. Please don’t drink and drive. I shouldn’t have to explain why.
F) Friends: It’s important to have friends, but it’s also important to find people you can relate to and be yourself around. There will always be someone you don’t get along with, but if you try to focus on the people you do get along with, high school will be a whole lot more fun.
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10. Congratulations! You’ve made it through your first step toward your future. The best advice I can give you is to take things one day at a time. If you’re taking things one day at a time, then you won’t be as stressed out as you would if you were taking things one hour at a time.
If there is anything I’ve learned in life from experience it’s this: DON’T GO A DAY WITHOUT LAUGHING. Life is too short to be taken seriously all the time. In order to be happy, you need to laugh.
Have fun, and I’ll see ya soon!
You finish the letter and set it down. You immediately get up from your desk and walk to the kitchen. You open the refrigerator and pull out a bottle of water. As you are drinking it, you notice your mom in the doorway.
So, did you find that helpful?”
You choke on the water for a moment before replying, “yeah. Yeah, it was.”
She smiles and walks over to you. She then takes the water bottle out of your hand and sets it on the counter.
“Well then, we should try some of that out tonight!” she says with a wink.
As she heads back to her room, you turn and exit through the front door. As you come out, Jacob and John are walking up the driveway.
“Hey Jason, we heard you got your letter today!” John says.
Yeah, can we see it?”
You take the letter out of your pocket and toss it to Jacob, who catches it. They both read it over as you walk toward them. When they’re done they hand it back to you and Jacob speaks first.
“Dang, that’s pretty cool,” he says.
What does it say?”
Jacob turns and stares at him.
What do you think it says, retard?”
he sneers. “It says he got his acceptance to the university!”
“Oh,” John responds. “That’s cool.”
You smirk and shake your head. “Let’s go play some ball or something,” you say as you start down the street.
The three of you head to the playground to play one on one. you say.
You, Jacob and John head down to the park to play some pick-up basketball. You end up playing against Jacob since John is terrible at it. You play for about an hour and a half, going back and forth between playing keep away from Jacob and going for the goal. At one point you have him right where you want him when you accidentally trip over a rock and fall. You hit your head on the sidewalk when you fall and lose consciousness.
When you wake up, your mom is leaning over you. You’re in a hospital bed and your head hurts.
“Oh thank God,” your mom says when you wake up. “The doctor said you probably wouldn’t wake up for a few more hours.”
You don’t respond, you just groan from the pain in your head. Your mom explains that she was at work when one of the other teachers came in and told her that she found you on the sidewalk. She says she called an ambulance and they brought you here. The doctor came in and said that you had a minor concussion along with the gash on your head. He stitched you up and gave you a few prescriptions for the pain and nausea.
You groan again and slowly sit up. Your mom immediately protests, but you convince her to let you sit up. After a few minutes your head begins to feel better.
“Here,” your mom says, handing you a small piece of paper, “the doctor wrote you a note for school so you can get today and probably tomorrow off.”
You nod and look at the note. It’s fairly generic, saying you were brought in after being unconscious and displaying concussion symptoms. You thank your mom and stuff it in your pocket as you stand up. After a few seconds you feel well enough to walk around, so you start pacing in the room.
After about half an hour, the doctor comes in and does a quick examination. He says you can go home, just to rest and take it easy for the rest of the week. He gives you another note for school, which your mom immediately takes from you. As the doctor leaves, your mom turns to you.
“You scared me, you know,” she says with a sigh. “I think you should stay home the rest of the week. I’ll call your teacher so she knows why you’re late and I’ll tell her that you’re staying home Monday too.”
She walks out of the room to make those calls while you pick up your things from the bed and head out to the car.
On the drive home, you think about what happened. You still have no idea who those two guys were or why they attacked you. You assume it must be related to the attack in the alley, but you just can’t figure out how. Finally you give up and decide to worry about it later.
When you get home, you head to your room and lie down on your bed. You spend the rest of the day alone in your room thinking about what happened and going over the note from Gwen that you found in your jacket pocket.
The note just has Gwen’s number on it, no message. You debate calling her, but aren’t sure if now is the best time to do it or not. At the bottom of the note it says the number is for her cell phone. You’re not sure if she means a landline or not, but you’re inclined to believe it isn’t since she’s younger than you are.
Eventually, you fall asleep on top of your bed still thinking about the day’s events.
The next morning you wake up late. Your mom has already left for work and Casey is nowhere to be seen. You find a piece of paper on the kitchen counter with a note from your mom saying she let Casey stay home from school today since she was sick. The paper also says your mom left lunch for you in the fridge. You open the fridge and find a small container with a sandwich, some chips, and a small bottle of orange juice.
You’re pretty hungry after your late breakfast so you sit at the table and open the container. You take a bite out of the sandwich and find that it’s tuna salad. You really hate tuna salad, but you haven’t eaten in awhile so you plow through it. After finishing the sandwich and the chips you open the small bottle of orange juice and gulp it down.
Pleasing your hunger for now, you head back to your room to get ready for school. You stop in the middle of the hallway as a thought hits you.
“Shit, I’m still grounded,” you say to yourself.
You’re not sure if you should try to sneak out or forget it and stay home.
You could head to school and hope that no one sees you, probably the safer bet.
Or you could try to sneak out another way…
You can’t get caught, so you decide to stay home.
After the day is over, you head back to your room and lie down on your bed. Your mom still isn’t home yet so you know she isn’t going to find out. You fall asleep around 10 o’clock and wake up around 11 the next morning.
When you walk into the living room, you notice that someone has been there. All your video games are gone! Your heart begins to beat quickly as you think of all the bad things that could have happened. You run back to your room and pull out your cell phone. After some quick dialing, you get a hold of your best friend, Jake.
“Jake, someone broke into my house and stole all my games,” you say frantically.
Shit man, are you Ok?”
“I’m fine, but I wanted to know if you heard anything around school.”
“Nothing really, just the same ol’ rumors.
You didn’t hear about another attack last night did you?”
Another one? What do you mean?”
“Some girl from another school was attacked in an alley near here.”
Was it the same guy that’s been attacking girls?
You’re not sure how to respond. If it was, that means the police are looking for him and you’ll have to tell them what you saw. If it isn’t, then there’s no reason for you to interfere.
“I don’t know,” you reply unsure of what to do, “I haven’t heard anything on the news about it.
Do you know who the girl is?”
“Eh, I think she goes to some private school.”
Really? Which one?”
“I don’t know, my sister goes to it I think. I’ll ask her when she gets home.”
Do you think I could go over to your house?”
“Um, sure I guess. Hold on let me go ask my mom if its Ok.”
The phone gets placed on something and muffled voices talk, but you can’t make out what is being said. A few moments later Jake gets back on the phone.
“Ok, you can come over but just for a little while.”
“See you in a few.”
You hang up the phone and grab your house key before heading out the door. After locking it, you head down to the bus stop. Buses are pretty easy to figure out, you just have to make sure you’re going in the right direction and then get off at your friend’s house.
When you arrive at Jake’s house, he greets you at the door.
“Hey,” he says as you walk in.
The inside of his house is pretty nice. You’ve never really paid much attention to it before though. The two of you head into his den where you’ll be spending most of your time today. He sits down on his Xbox 360 couch and you sit next to him.
So what’s this I hear about another girl getting attacked?”
“Yeah, I don’t know. I just heard about it on the news last night.”
“I hope they catch this guy soon.”
You sit quietly for a moment not really knowing what to say. Jake turns on the T.V and flips through the channels before stopping on some reality show. You both watch for a little while until someone knocks on the door. Jake gets up and opens it.
It’s his sister Julia. You remember her as being one of the girls that was at Eric’s party, though you never really spoke to her.
Hey Jake,” she greets as she walks in, “who’s that?”
She points over at you and gives you a once over. This is the first time you’ve ever met anyone outside of school, so you don’t know how to act.
“This is my friend William,” Jake replies, “he’s new here.”
“Hello,” you wave.
“Hi,” she smiles and waves back at you, “welcome to the neighborhood. I’m Julia by the way.”
“I know,” you say, “you go to my school.”
I don’t remember seeing you there.”
This makes you a little nervous. You hope she isn’t someone you have a crush on because that would just be awkward.
“You probably don’t, I just started yesterday.”
“Oh, yeah. My brother told me he met you at school the other day.”
“Ah, that’s where I know him from. He helped me find my class when I got lost.”
“Cool,” she nods, “well I’ll leave you guys to it, my friends are waiting for me outside.”
Julia leaves and Jake shuts the door behind her. He goes back and sits down on the couch.
Is she someone you have a crush on?”
you ask bluntly.
No! She’s my neighbor.”
“Well you could’ve fooled me.”
“Trust me, if she was someone I had a crush on I’d be much happier right now.”
Oh, why’s that? Didn’t like her?”
“I didn’t say that, she just left before I could even get her phone number.”
You nod in understanding. After all, it’s not like you got Jake’s phone number either when he offered. Maybe you should’ve asked him for it.
“Ah, here it is,” he says turning his attention back to the T.V, “it’s starting.”
“We’re sorry, we are just receiving this information and will be bringing it to you as quickly as we can. In other news, there has been a shooting at the James Holmes theater in Aurora, Colorado, where the new Batman movie was being shown. Police have said that there are at least twelve people confirmed dead and possibly more wounded. We will keep you updated on this story as soon as more information is given.”
“Oh my God,” you say, “that’s the theater I was going to.
Does anyone know if everyone is alright?”
“I’m sure they are,” Jake says, trying to calm you down, “the shooting was probably just in one of the theaters, and since yours had the good sense to leave your tickets, you’re fine.”
Jake is trying to make you feel better, but his words don’t exactly assure you. Your eyes then go back to the T.V as they start talking about the shooting again.
“We’re now getting one more piece of information about this tragedy. Apparently there was a shooter in the theater, and he had at least three guns and a knife. He wore a bulletproof vest and helmet and released some sort of gas into the air before he opened fire. Police say it is unclear whether or not this was the work of one person, or multiple people.”
This brings you a bit of confusion. You were so busy worrying about your own life, you didn’t even think about the fact that there was a shooting in the theater.
“It’s just like Columbine,” Jake mutters.
You hadn’t really thought about it before, as you were too focused on your situation and you hadn’t really been old enough to remember it clearly. But now that Jake mentions it, it does seem similar.
Just as you’re about to freak out, Jake grabs your hand.
“I’m sure they’re fine. They would’ve said something more by now if they were dead.”
You take in a deep breath and let Jake’s words sink in. He’s right, they would’ve said something more about the people who were killed if they were dead.
“Thanks,” you tell him, “I just… freaked out for a second.”
Did you know a lot of people in there?”
“Uh… no… just one.”
Well that’s all that matters then, you knew one person and they knew you, right?”
You smile at his words. He was right.
The rest of the day goes by pretty quietly. Jake makes some jokes to make you laugh and you actually have a pretty good time with him. At around 10, your dad’s car pulls into the driveway.
It’s his day off, so he’s able to stay home with you for the rest of the day. Jake says that’s his cue to leave, and he heads into his room to sleep.
Your dad comes into the house looking tired from working all day.
How was your day, honey?”
he asks as he goes to get a drink.
“It was good. I’m glad you’re home though.”
Your dad smiles and gives you a hug.
“I’m glad too.
How was Jake?”
“He was alright. We mostly just stayed in all day.”
“I’m really glad to hear that, it would’ve broken my heart if anything bad happened to you guys on the first day.
You know that, right?”
“Yeah, I know.”
“He kept me company. We watched T.V and had some fun.”
“That’s good, honey. I’m glad he could keep you company. I just wish your mother was here to help too.”
“It’s ok dad, you’re doing a great job.”
He smiles at your compliment and gives you another hug before heading off to relax on the couch. You head to your room and fall asleep happily after thanking Jake again for coming over.
Your dad ruffies your hair and gets himself a drink.
“I bet you’re hungry.
What do you wanna do for dinner?”
You smile at him.
“Sure thing, honey,” he smiles back, “I’ll order it now.”
You sit down on the couch and turn on the T.V while he goes to call for delivery. Tonight was a pretty good first day.
» You go to sleep, glad that everything turned out alright., ready for tomorrow «
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