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Why do we even exercise?

We all live our lives by predominately using muscles in our anterior chain, as opposed to our posterior chain. Simply put, the anterior chain is made up of the muscles on the front of our body, while the posterior chain is the muscles on the back of our body.

The times that we are using the muscles in our anterior chain:

  • Driving

  • Texting

  • Labor work

  • Typing

  • Reading

  • Cooking

  • Talking on the phone

  • Playing an instrument

  • Playing a video game

  • Playing a sport

Obviously the list could go on and on. Just think of how often your shoulders are rounded forward or your neck is leaning forward throughout the day. Think of how often you're holding something in front of you as well. We're always performing tasks in front of our body, which is causing our spine to curve forward and putting our body at risk of injury.

This is why a lot of elderly people's bodies start to round forward as they age. This is also why the meathead at the gym, who still believes in Monday being "National Chest Day", has his back and shoulders rounded forward as well. **It's because people aren't performing enough posterior movements to counteract our anterior movements**

The Solution:

Perform more pulling movements in the gym.

I have all my clients perform at least a 3:1 ratio of pull-to-push. This means that every time we do one pushing exercise (like push ups, sled push, landmine press), we also do three pulling exercises to counter it. OR... if we do 5 push ups, we'll do 15 bent over row. Here is an example of an upper body circuit that fits the mold:

TRX/Ring Row - 3 x 15

Push Ups - 3 x 15

Pull Ups - 3 x 10

Scapula Retraction - 3 x 10

Landmine Press - 3 x 5 each arm

Face Pull - 3 x 15

Renegade Row - 3 x 10 each arm

Bent Over Row - 3 x 10

In this example, there are six pulling exercises and two pushing exercises. The total reps are 210:60 respectively.

The above example is for the people who prefer to mix up their upper and lower body days. However, we typically perform full body circuits, while still keeping a 3:1 pull-to-push ratio. Also, while incorporating the proper squat-to-hinge ratio, mobility work, and core strength.

The purpose of exercising is to create a healthier and longer life. Instead of maxing out on bench press every other month, try to incorporate more pulling and mobility exercises. That way, we can all walk upright and still be healthy in our elder years.


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