Muscle Action Part 2

By Mark Rippetoe

In Audio, ExPhysiology, Videos

March 07, 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 applies the basic concepts introduced in Part 1 to the actions in the back squat. The trunk muscles are in isometric contraction. The descent under load is driven down by gravity and there is an eccentric contraction of the muscles of the hips and knees. The ascent is a concentric contraction of those same muscles.

There is also a discussion about the difference between eccentric contractions under load and the language frequently used to describe the air squat as pulling yourself down using the hip flexors.

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 59sec



9 Comments on “Muscle Action Part 2”


Russell Benedetto wrote …

I can't wait for basic barbell cert with this man


wrote …

This cert is money well spent. Not only do you get hands on, practical experience with the movements, you also get good discussion regarding the anatomy and the physics behind the movements. Rip is a barbell savant and his depth of knowledge regarding the movements he teaches is impressive. Not only will you walk away with a great understanding of the basic barbell moves, you will also have been entertained with his wit and humor. His one liners were worth the price of admission!


wrote …

Kathleen nailed it.
I think this cert gives you the background information on basic biomechanics (and other nifty stuff) that would prove very useful prior to Level 1.


wrote …

if you don't actively hip flex to some degree in the squat when you lower down, won't you just travel down with the knees and end up with a muted hip? a lot people have trouble with the squat because they don't seem to know how to "sit back" by flexing their hip


wrote …

I really appreciate the confidence Rip has in his expertise while also entertaining discussion with an open mind. This a hallmark of a real expert. Thanks Rip.


wrote …

The curve in the Cervical spine is commonly referred to as a lordosis, just as the lumbar curve is.


wrote …

more please.


wrote …

Brad, thanks for your input. This correction is noted. This video shows me in a situation where I am sick, not at my best, and dealing with a question I was not prepared for. This is what I actually look like most of the time, I guess, but it is unfortunate that this segment was chosen as a way to use 9 minutes of valuable Journal time when better, more informative stuff was available. I appreciate the kind words above, and the support of those of you who have appreciated our efforts at the Basic Barbell Certification. My efforts are always directed toward improving our product, and it won't take much to improve on this.


wrote …

Good stuff Ripp, good info and I love how you lecture. It entertains me. =}

Leave a comment

Comments (You may use HTML tags for style)