Discussing the Fatigue/Tension Principle has taken us through two more elements. We started out considering factors that affect the organization of reps within a set; we ended by beginning to consider factors that affect the organization of the daily workout. Let's continue with that element now, with another important principle ...
THE INTERDEPENDENCY OF MUSCLE GROUPS
Research has demonstrated there is one particular sequence of a given series of exercises that affords maximum benefit to all muscles involved. This sequence makes each of the exercises more effective than those same exercises performed in random order. This optimal sequence is largely determined by a principle called "The Interdependency of Muscle Groups."
The Interdependency Principle states that since the body works as an integrated whole, it is impossible to activate one muscle without involving others. In other words, individual muscles never act alone.
The muscle or muscle group primarily responsible for a movement is called the prime mover. Muscles assisting the prime mover are called synergists. Muscles holding the body in position so the prime mover and synergists can act are called stabilizers.
When you do a Bench Press, for example, where the pectorals function as prime mover, certain muscles hold your shoulders in place and keep you from rolling off the bench. These include the back muscles, the rear delts, and the abdominals. These muscles are not responsible for lifting the bar, but they are definitely involved in the exercise. (Ask any beginner who has ever gotten a cramp in his or her back with the bar halfway up!) The back muscles, the rear delts, and the abdominals are functioning as stabilizers.
Other muscles-your anterior deltoid (front shoulder) and triceps-directly aid the pectorals (prime mover) to press the bar. These muscles are functioning as synergists.
Timing and Overload act together. One determines the other.
|PRIME MOVERS are helped by
while a foundation for movement is provided by