Secrets of Core Training The Backside

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Secrets of Core Training “The Backside”

In this DVD, Secrets of Core Training “The Backside”, number three in the Secrets Series consisting of Secrets of the Shoulder, Secrets of the Hip and Knee, and Secrets of Primitive Patterns; Gray Cook and Brett Jones teach how to uncover asymmetries and dysfunctional movement patterns which are precursors for injury.  They follow the simple screening process with techniques they’ve developed to help people correct mobility and stability problems in the hip and knee.  Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll find in this DVD. 

Introduction, 21 minutes

In this discussion, Gray and Brett talk about safe strength.  We have a country of people who do not move well.  According to Gray, even great athletes are lacking one of the fundamental movement patterns.  People tend to put more emphasis on either mobility or stability, but the movement screen is not only about one or the other.  They remind us that you have to work on the one that the person needs and good stability yields good mobility.  

This entire DVD is centered around one exercise; the deadlift.  This exercise will help correct the fundamental strength issue that we have which explains why people are performing better, but still leaving themselves wide open for injuries.   Even though almost every activity we do is either power or endurance, Gray emphasizes the importance of training lower repetition lifts which develop strength.  Brett lets us in on the secret of why this is important.  Strength is the foundation for EVERYTHING! Strength over time equals power, strength over time equals endurance.  Strength is always functional, therefore it is necessary to train no matter what type of athlete you are. 

Gray and Brett discuss the deep squat in this section.  Although sports may not use the deep squat, they use the things that make the deep squat possible.  Gray explains that even though a movement may look functional it doesn’t mean that it is, and just because it looks dysfunctional doesn’t mean it isn’t.  It’s about what the movement produces.  When discussing this, he compares his way of thinking to a tree by saying, “you judge a tree by its fruit”.  Brett compares the hips and abdominals to a car by saying the hips are like the engine, and the abdominals are like the transmission.  They also discuss the dead lift in this section.  They explain where the dead lift got its name and two different ways to train the hips: the squat and the deadlift.  Gray tells us that it is important to maintain the squat and train the deadlift because people will learn the deadlift quicker, and you can train it more often.  Almost everyone can do the deadlift, where not everyone can do the squat. 

Screening: 14 minutes

You should use one of the seven tests from the FMS to make sure you do not bring an asymmetry or limitation into the deadlift.  The ASLR (active straight leg raise) test clears an individual for the dead lift.  Gray instructs how to screen the ASLR with Brett demonstrating the movement.  After screening the ASLR, Gray has Brett do a toe touch and explains why people cannot touch their toes.  This is due to misfiring of muscles. It is not a flexibility problem like many people tend to think.  If the client is unable to touch their toes you must look to see if there is an asymmetry by taking one leg out and looking at them individually.  

After testing the ASLR and toe touch, Brett has Gray do a bridge and a pushup to check for hip stability and make sure the glutes are firing. They begin each of these with both legs, then look at each side individually to check for an asymmetry.  Brett also teaches us how to do a crocodile breath and what you should look for when doing this type of breathing.  This type of breathing is important to create intra abdominal pressure. 

Corrections- ASLR and Toe Touch, 10 minutes

If you do not pass the screens it is important to do corrective exercises.  If the crocodile breath is a problem you must practice it.  If you do not pass the ASLR you must train the movement pattern, then re-screen.  If you do not pass the toe touch there is a problem with the central nervous system and you must do toe touch progression exercises.  Gray and Brett go over two different progressions that will clean up and restore the toe touch pattern. 

Corrections- Chop and Lift, 5 minutes

Here they are teaching us how to activate the anterior X if there was a drop or limitation when checking static and dynamic stability.  You must have an active anterior X before progressing to the dead lift.  Brett coaches Gray through the chop and lift exercise in a symmetrical stance, and an asymmetrical stance.  These are examples of PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) patterns.  Gray demonstrates good repetitions as well as bad repetitions so you can see the difference in a correct pattern and an incorrect pattern.  After you do these corrective exercises make sure you go back and screen the area where the problem was found, the push up or the bridge. This should be done immediately following the correctives.  Activating the anterior X and taking care of core stability issues will save you a lot of pain and problems in the future.  Once the anterior X is active, you are ready to deadlift. 

Level 1- Patterning, 4 minutes

The dead lift is a natural pattern but it is often lost due to injuries or a sedentary lifestyle.  The way to get this pattern back is through patterning.  Gray and Brett demonstrate two different ways to correct the hip hinge pattern using a stick, and the Gray Cook Band.  They also show different progressions for these exercises.

Level 1- Assisted Dead Lift, 2 minutes

Gray and Brett go over one exercise using a stick and tubing which puts resistance on the individual while going into the dead lift, but pulls them out of the dead lift.  They stress the importance of not coaching the patient through this movement pattern.  

Level 1- Resisted Dead Lift, 1 minute

The resisted dead lift is opposite of the assisted dead lift.  There is no resistance while going into the movement but there is resistance coming out of it.  This is a good exercise so your body will know what to when a load is added.  The hips should be doing all the work. 

Level 2, 4 minutes

Here, weight is added to the dead lift pattern.  Gray uses the band for resistance, then adds the PowerBlock or the Kettlebell. They first demonstrate the suit case dead lift.  Gray instructs Brett to crush the handle to create stability in the shoulder.    

Level 3- Single Leg Dead Lift, 5 minutes

It is important to do a high volume of Level 2 work before moving on to Level 3.  In this section Gray and Brett discuss the sports dead lift, or the single leg dead lift.  This exercise helps magnify asymmetries in athletes.  They tell us about the importance of raising the weight and not going past your range of motion ability when doing this exercise.  Brett coaches Gray though this contralateral lift.  They use both the Kettlebell and the PowerBlock when performing this lift.  Gray shows us an example of a good lift and a bad lift. 

Level 3- Barbell Deadlift, 13 minutes

It is important that you do not stop at the single leg single arm dead lift or you will miss out on important strength gains.  This lift should be done in low repetitions with long rest periods.  It is necessary to have great form and perfect technique while performing this lift.  Brett enforces the importance of being able to deadlift before performing power moves for weight lifters.  You should build strength before you begin ballistic exercises.  If you perfect the fundamentals first you will perform the other lifts better. 

Brett demonstrates the conventional dead lift with two different grips, the double over hand, and alternate grip.  You will get a great grip workout with the double over hand grip, but you will not be able to lift as much.  It is important to re-set after each lift to ensure that you have perfect form in every rep.  Next, they demonstrate the sumo dead lift.  The stance is slightly wider in this lift but all the same rules apply. 

Conclusion, 4 minutes

This entire DVD is dedicated to the dead lift.  You must screen the movement patterns first to look for asymmetries or limitations.  If you find problems in the screen you must do corrective exercises.  The Level 1 exercises make your brain aware of the movement pattern, the Level 2 exercises add a little weight while looking at both sides together and individually, and the Level 3 section covers sports corrections and the fundamental lift. In this DVD, Gray and Brett present us with a safe way to apply the most fundamental lift on earth.  The deadlift trains the entire body and gives us a great base for strength training. 

Exercise Examples