Rodney McBride

Why You Should Squat and Deadlift

Why You Should Squat and Deadlift

The main reason why anyone and technically everyone should squat and deadlift in the gym is to strengthen the posterior chain. Why? Because the posterior chain allows you to walk, run, sprint and jump. At the minimum walking is a part of your daily life. If you play sports speed, agility and explosive movements are indispensable components.

A chain or muscle chain is a series of muscles that function together to perform movement. There are multiply chains endemic to the body. They are located on the outside of the body and deep within. They run in every direction. Arm to arm. Leg to leg. Arm to leg. Head to arm. Head to foot. We cannot perform any gross operation without them. 

The most important of all the muscle chains is the posterior chain. Mainly because of gate. It starts on the bottom of both feet at the toes and moves up the back of the leg through the glutes up both sides of the spine up over the head and terminates at the eye brow. 

When stationary all initial movement begins with the posterior chain. The posterior chain launches the push off in gate to propel the body forward. Immediately afterward all the other chains assist in the various phases of gate until motion is stopped. If motion is again needed the posterior chain activates the sequence anew. Repeat. Stop. Repeat.

The same goes for sitting. When stationary all initial movement begins with the posterior chain. The posterior chain lifts the body out of the seated position to full extension. Then propels the body into gate. 

Two of the most important functional actions of the body are controlled by the posterior chain.

Running or sprinting is gate with a much higher velocity. Jumping is fast squating. Both also heavily reliant on the strength of the posterior chain.

The two exercises that will strengthen the posterior chain are the squat and the deadlift. The squat is a pushing motion and the deadlift is a pulling motion. These two motions should be trained on the same day if possible.  

At the very least squat and deadlift weekly to help improve basic movement. If you play a sport squating and deadlifting can literally put you a step above. 



Hopefully by now if you have read my last three blogs Another Look at the Spine (see October 6th), Another Look at the Spine 2 (see October 20th) and Coupled Motion (see November 3rd) you have a nice understanding of how rotational actions of the vertebrae can allow larger movements to happen. 

Remember that I am not talking about gross rotational patterns as in rotating the entire spine to one side. I am talking about the finite rotational capability of each individual vertebra separate from its neighbor. This is only a few degrees of rotation left or right but has a tremendous influence on spinal mechanics.

Today I will finish off on this topic by talking about the final piece of spinal function and that piece is called PiLUS (Even though there is an i in the acronym PiLUS it is still pronounced PLUS as if there were no i at all).  

Each letter in PiLUS represents a muscle. The P stands for Piriformis, the i for iliacus, the L for Latissimus dorsi, the U for Upper trapezius and S for Sternocleidomastoid. All five muscles assist the spine in forward flexion (bending forward). 

More specifically the right Piriformis, the right iliacus, the left Latissimus dorsi, the left Upper trapezius and the right Sternocleidomastoid assist the spine in forward flexion. 

When you flex forward at the waist the spine cannot do it in one segment. Certain vertebrae have to rotate out of the way first. The vertebrae would jam into one another in flexion if they didn't rotate.

In forward flexion the sacrum will rotate back and the fifth lumbar (L5) will counter rotate forward. Every vertebra from that point on will rotate left or right depending on which muscle is connected. 

The five muscles involved actually inhibit (turn off) in forward flexion. This inhibition pattern allows the vertebrae to rotate in sections so forward flexion can commence. This function is normal and is also relevant with extension and gate. 

You have to bend forward or back approximately 30 degrees in order for PiLUS to activate. If any or all five of these muscles don't inhibit then you have another issue that needs to be addressed.

Not getting an inhibition response when checking PiLUS can put unwanted compressive forces on the vertebral discs and nerves. If you already have back problems it's something else that can exasperate an already compromised situation. Get it checked.

PiLUS is like the icing on the cake. Once I have corrected everything else I check PiLUS and other systemic functions to see if they are operating in the right manner.

Coupled Motion

Coupled Motion

In my blogs Another Look at the Spine (see October 6th) and Another Look at the Spine 2 (see October 20th) I talked about the Lovett Reactor function in the spine and possible nutritional dilemmas also related to Lovett Reactor. 

I want to continue on this topic of spinal movement and talk about another finite operation of the vertebrae known as coupled motion. 

I mentioned already how the vertebrae can rotate independently of each other. These finite motions allow gross movements of the spine to happen such as in flexion (bending forward), extension (bending backward), rotation, lateral flexion (bending to the side) and gate. 

I will use the gross action of lateral flexion to show how coupled motion works. 

Coupled motion is when two processes of the vertebrae take place at the same time. In lateral flexion you bend to one side which is one act and the vertebrae also rotate right or left depending on their location in the spine which is the second act. 

If you bend your neck to the right all the cervical vertebrae also rotate to the right. If you bend your neck to the left all the cervical vertebrae also rotate to the left.  If you bend your low back to the right all the lumbar vertebrae rotate to the left. If you bend your low back to the left all the lumbar vertebrae rotate to the right.

All the vertebrae C1 to T5 function like the cervical example and all the vertebrae T6 to L5 function like the lumbar example. 

In order to side bend the vertebrae half to rotate out of the way. Its as simple as that. The same goes for bending forward and bending backward which I will elaborate on in the next blog.  

When doing bodywork I always check for and correct hypertonic joint capsules and ligaments along the entire length of the spine so that coupled motion, Lovett Reactor and nutritional issues are not left dysfunctional. 

Another Look at the Spine 2

Another Look at the Spine 2

In my blog Another Look at the Spine (see October 6th) I talked about a structural function of the spine known as Lovett Reactor. Today I want to elaborate on this topic some more in its association with gate and chronic nutritional issues. 

I mentioned that each vertebra can rotate side left or side right independent of the vertebra above and below it. These rotational movements are very small. Only a few degrees change in either direction. 

I am not talking about the gross actions of the spine like flexion (bending forward) or side bending where the spine is moving as a whole. I am talking about the ability of each vertebrae to move (rotate) separate from its neighbor. 

Although these vertebral rotary movements are finite they contribute a great deal to larger movements.

In gate several muscles along the spine turn on and off to allow walking to happen. These muscles can only turn on and off if the corresponding vertebra and its Lovett Reactor can rotate in the direction it needs to to allow the muscles to act during a certain phase in gate. 

When the right leg and left arm move forward the flexor muscles on those limbs turn on. The extensor muscles on those same limbs turn off. On the opposite side of the body the left leg and right arm move backward turning on the extensor muscles and turning off the flexor muscles on those limbs. 

They switch. Then switch again until gate is terminated. This is only possible if the vertebrae along the spine rotate out of the way. Pretty cool huh!!

Remember too that each vertebra is related to an organ and/or gland in the body. If you are having recurrent chronic problems with a certain vertebra get the associated organ/gland checked for nutritional deficiencies. This goes for Lovett Reactor as well.

Chronic issues with the C1 vertebra is related to food sensitivities. This means the stomach should be evaluated for proper functioning with clinical nutrition tools. C1s' Lovett Reactor is L5 which is related to Prostate and Uterus trouble. 

The primary problem could be with C1 and secondary with L5? This could mean some food is causing improper digestion which is leading to inadequate nutrients for the prostate/uterus. The primary problem could start with L5 and secondarily with C1? Either way Lovett Reactor says to check the similar vertebrae if you want to resolve the matter completely. 

I hope all this makes sense to you. If gives new meaning to keeping the spine healthy doesn't it. 

Another Look at the Spine

Another Look at the Spine

In September of last year I wrote a blog entitled Another Approach to Back Trouble (see September 23rd). I spoke about how every vertebra in the spine is related to an organ or gland in the body. 
If you are constantly having problems with a particular vertebra then you will continually have an issue with its corresponding organ/gland. This is a nutritional matter. 

Today I want to talk about a second component in regards to the vertebrae of the spine. A structural relationship known as Lovett Reactor. 

The primary responsibility of the spine is stability although it can and does contribute to gross movements such as flexion, extension, side bending, rotation and gate. But for the most part its job is stability first, gross and finite movements second.

Even though stability is the foundational component of the spine movement is vital. Each vertebra can rotate side left or side right independent of the vertebra above and below it. Each vertebra is also rotationally related to another vertebra within the spine. This rotational link is what we call Lovett Reactor. 

If the first cervical vertebra C1 rotates right the last lumbar vertebra L5 rotates right. If C2 rotates right L4 rotates right. If C3 rotates right L3 also rotates right. At C4 things change. If C4 rotates right L2 counter rotates left. If C5 rotates left L1 counter rotates right. This counter rotation is continuous through the rest of the vertebrae until the upper half of the spine meets the lower half of the spine at T5 and T6. 

This is exactly what happens during gate. Without these rotational actions walking would not be possible. 

Here is a list of the vertebrae and their rotational link:

C1-L5 same movement
C2-L4 same movement
C3-L3 same movement
C4-L2 opposite movement
C5-L1 opposite movement
C6-T12 opposite movement
C7-T11 opposite movement
T1-T10 opposite movement
T2-T9 opposite movement
T3-T8 opposite movement
T4-T7 opposite movement
T5-T6 opposite movement
T6-T5 opposite movement
T7-T4 opposite movement
T8-T3 opposite movement
T9-T2 opposite movement
T10-T1 opposite movement
T11-C7 opposite movement
T12-C6 opposite movement
L1-C5 opposite movement
L2-C4 opposite movement
L3-C3 same movement
L4-C2 same movement
L5-C1 same movement