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Muscle Action Part 1 by Mark Rippetoe - CrossFit Journal

Muscle Action Part 1

By Mark Rippetoe

In Audio, ExPhysiology, Videos

March 02, 2009

Video Article

Coach Mark Rippetoe introduces the basics of muscle action.

Understanding how a muscle works is essential to understanding how to strengthen it. This footage is taken from his Basic Barbell Certification seminar at CrossFit Brand X in Ramona, CA on February 14, 2009.

This video covers the most basic concepts, such as flexion and extension, concentric, eccentric and isometric.

As simple as the concepts may be, a lot of very intelligent people still squat predominantly with their quads instead of their glutes and hamstrings. Coach Rippetoe orients his teaching of anatomy and physiology toward achieving proper mechanics in the basic barbell exercises.

8min 30sec

Free Download


13 Comments on “Muscle Action Part 1”


wrote …

Must have been cold with those propane fire trees lit.


wrote …

Rip is the man!...If you havent read the book he and Lon Kilgore wrote "Starting Strength" youre missing out!...the #1 training book out there.


wrote …

Starting Strength is a must read for all Crossfitters. Thanks Rip.


wrote …

Yes, I have read the books, but for me nothing beats hearing it. As soon as I get this level 1 cert out of the way in April I am off to the barbell cert.


wrote …

This clip is an instant classic!
Can't wait to train with Rip again in May to see those massive lats!


wrote …

I haven't had the chance to hear Coach Rippetoe in person but the video clips of him are always great. He is extremely good at breaking things down to the very basics. Then, when everyone is on that basic level of understanding, he adds bits and pieces of knowledge and raises everyone's level of understanding in the end. Absolutely an amazing teacher. Definitely looking forward to a Olympic cert or Barbell cert with Coach Rippetoe.

Thanks, Coach Rippetoe, for sharing your knowledge, information, and insight.

Thanks to everyone who puts these videos together. The videos are great and I always look forward to seeing more.


wrote …

This is why everyone should go to the Barbell Cert, before Level 1.


wrote …

OK--just ordered "Starting Strength" from Amazon!! Excited to learn more. Now if I could find a Level 1 cert. nearby...


wrote …

The barbell cert was well worth the investment. The deadlift teaching is worth the money by itself. Don't hate me Rip. I think the primary function of the distal hamstrings is to decelerate femoral internal/external rotation immediately after heel strike in the gait/run cycle. It's obvious that the hamstrings have the capacity to perform knee flexion but training that motion only will not provide the stimulus needed to protect the knees. The insertions are on the medial and lateral sides of the tibia and fibula (not on the posterior aspect). Their arrangement are like the reins on a horse. If the horse decided to turn its head one way, you would have to counter by tugging on the reins in the opposite direction. Same thing happens with the leg. If the femur is moving into extreme ranges of internal/external rotation, with some varying degrees of ad/abduction coupled with flexion at the hip and knee, the hamstrings function to decelerate the tri-plane load. They put on the brakes and make sure the knee does not get harmed.
What flexes the knee in function is gravity. Try standing up and bending your knees. Did your hamstrings pull you down or were you resisting knee flexion? The hamstrings are actually knee extenders! Now that we're squating and flexing at the hip, the proximal portion of the hamstring( which functions primarily in the sagital plane ) is eccentrically loading. When we decide to stand up the proximal hamstrings act as hip extenders ( think Romanian deadlift ) which pulls the femur posterior extending the knee. How you like them apples?
This one could get interesting........


wrote …


Semimembranosus attaches to the posterior aspect of the medial condyle of the tibia.


wrote …

Thanks again Coach. It was great to have you at Brand X. I learned so much, come back soon!


wrote …

This video was very short.


wrote …

Sorry for being an idiot.... I should have researched a lil more.

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