The Six Tension Chains for Complete Physical Development

The Six Tension Chains for Complete Physical Development

    The Six Tension Chains for
    Complete Physical Development

    Some programs work your muscles and other's work your movements. GSC
    uses a blend of the two called Chain Training, which I go over in more detail
    in my book Smart Bodyweight Training. If you haven't caught that book here
    is the general idea behind it.
    Chain training is more of a mental focus toward your training than the actual
    use of the body. It doesn't focus on working individual muscle groups like in
    bodybuilding or physical therapy. It's also not about taking an athletic
    approach to training where you focus on movements or doing physical
    Both muscle and movement training are perfectly valid as they each help
    your mind focus on how to use muscle tension. In muscle training, you're
    focusing your mind on placing tension in a select muscle to create an
    aesthetic balance or to shore up a weak link that may be causing dysfunction.
    Movement training is best for those looking to perform better and using
    tension to satisfy a standard of physical performance.
    Chain Training is the blend of the two where you focus on sending tension
    through a specific tension chain of muscles to improve physical performance
    in basic movements. Each of these tension chains is the collection of muscles
    responsible for the activity. You focus on putting tension in the muscles to
    accomplish the task at hand. In this way, it's a combination of both movement
    and muscle training at the same time.
    This mental focus ensures you gain the benefits of both approaches. You can
    selectively place tension in the muscles you want to grow while building the
    coordination that will improve your functional performance.
    This mindset is why GSC workouts are broken down into working your
    various tension chains rather than identifying with specific muscles or
    movements. Although, you'll probably find each tension chain may classify
    without further ado, let's take a look at the six tension chains in the body.
    First, we'll take a look at your three movement chains. These are the three
    tension chains which are responsible for the movement and locomotion you
    experience daily.

    Squat chain

    Your foundational movement chain is your squat chain. It’s comprised of
    every muscle from your waist down including your hips, glutes, quads,
    hamstrings, calves and even the muscles in your feet.
    The functional purpose of your squat chain is to do everything from walking
    and running to stepping up and crouching down. Anything that you do with
    your legs involves your squat chain. Even everyday actions like standing still
    or getting out of your car require your squat chain.

    Push chain

    Your push chain includes your chest, shoulders, triceps, and the extensor
    muscles in your forearm. The primary function of your push chain is to move
    your hands away from your torso in any direction. The most common
    motions include pushing against an object, like when opening a door,
    punching, and reaching up above you.

    Pull chain

    Your pull chain is on the opposite end of the functional spectrum from your
    push chain. It includes all of the muscles in your back, your shoulders, biceps
    and your forearm muscles that close your hand into a grip.
    While the push chain is about pushing your hands away from your torso, your
    pull chain pulls your hands closer to your torso in any direction. This action
    naturally occurs when you pull something to yourself or pull yourself
    upward, but it's also involved in all forms of carrying and holding onto
    Your three movement chains comprise most of the muscles in your body and
    will cover the majority of physical actions you do in sport and life. Just
    working these three chains will do a lot, but they still leave a few cracks in
    your functional foundation.
    That’s where the three support chains come in. These three chains are the
    typical muscle chains often referred to in kinesiology and physiology
    disciplines. Unlike the movement chains, they use their involved muscles to
    flow tension along the entire length of your body.
    Functionally, the support chains are somewhat in opposition to your
    movement chains. Movement chains are about dynamic movement first and
    isometric support second. For example, rock climbing may use your squat
    and pull chain to move yourself up a rock face while you use your flexion
    and extension chain to hold yourself to the wall. Meanwhile, support chains
    primarily provide control for your body first and dynamic movement second.
    Consider picking up and moving an object like a box of books. When you
    pick up the box, your pull chain is providing support while your extension
    chain is responsible for most of the motion of picking something up. After
    that, you use your extension chain to support your body as your squat chain
    dynamically engages to move you around.
    Understanding this helps you optimality condition each of the chains.
    Focusing on movement first and support second is the best way to train your
    movement chains. The best way to train your support chains is with support
    first and movement second. There are plenty of exceptions, but this is
    generally how to train these respective chains best. Let's explore your support
    chains in more detail.

    Extension chain

    Your extension chain runs along your entire backside from the top of your
    head down to the bottom of your feet and includes your toe flexors, calves,
    hamstrings, glutes, spine erectors, and the muscles in the back of your neck.
    Its primary function is to extend your body into an upright position and help
    you bend backward. Much of the time, it's working to help you maintain an
    upright posture without bending forward.

    Flexion chain

    Your flexion chain is the opposite in function and physiology to your
    extension chain. It's a chain that runs along the front side of your body,
    including the front of your neck, abdominals, hip flexors, quads, and the
    muscles in your shins.
    Functionally, this is your "abdominal" chain that helps you flex your body
    forward like when you sit up out of bed or lift your legs. It plays a dominant
    supportive role by maintaining a straight posture when gravity is pulling your
    hips down and forward like when doing push-ups or slouching forward.

    Lateral chain

    Your lateral chain comprises several of the muscles in both your flexion and
    extension chain, but the use of tension is different due to your relationship to
    the resistance on your body. Some of the most notable muscles include the
    adductors and abductors in your hips, obliques, spinal erectors, and shoulder
    muscles. Some of your more prominent back muscles, like your lats, can also
    play a role in your lateral stability.
    From a functional standpoint, your lateral chain does a lot, including twisting
    and rotational movements. It also helps to provide lateral support during
    unilateral activities where you use one limb differently than another.
    Putting this all together, GSC uses these tension chains to make sure you
    involve every major muscle group in an efficient functional way. Workouts
    aren't broken up into muscle groups or movements but rather tension chains,
    which makes them both streamlined and effective. So, without further ado,
    let's start to explore each of the tension chains in more detail, and the best
    progressive exercises you can use to make that chain bigger and stronger.
    Copyright © 2019

    Post a Comment