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Spine-Chilling Workouts

Article Submitted By: Gregg Williams – Sports Performance Specialist SPS

Just by the title alone, this probably sounds like an interesting article. You might even imagine some awful story of an accident that occurred in the weight-room like what the football player from USC experienced. On the contrary, this article brings to the reader facts and evidence of the single most important system for the athlete or anyone who desires to improve in strength, size, and/or muscle growth.


Which system would that be? Out of all the systems (cardio-pulmonary, urinary, respiratory, reproductive, skeletal, lymphatic, integumentary, muscular, nervous, endocrine, and digestive system), which one would you think is the most essential?

Some strength and fitness experts might believe cardio-pulmonary or muscular system. Nutrition experts might say that the digestive system is first. Yes, they are all absolutely essential in the development of muscle and strength. However; the nervous system takes the prize as number one. Scientifically speaking, every system is controlled by the brain (The Control Center of Everything). The brain, spinal cord, and nerve basically makes up the nervous system. The brain sends the message via nerve and tells the muscle to contract. Without nerve the muscle would have difficulty contracting thus making muscle difficult to contract.

So how does this help the athlete’s training? The goal of all athletes is performance. Therefore the workouts should be to get maximum benefits from workouts. For this to occur, the athlete should train certain movements. Movements that stimulate the spinal cord. These movements are best known as multi-joint/compound movements or movements that incorporate the back and hip muscles. Movements that are on the top of the list are: Squats, Dead Lifts, and Cleans. These movements require a large amount of muscle recruitment to effectively execute.

Studies have shown that just by squatting with a significant amount of weight on the back will stimulate muscle growth throughout the whole body.

Try this experiment: The next time you workout, perform 5 sets of squats with 50% of your max for 10 reps. Rest for approximately 10 minutes then perform 5 sets of arm curls with 50% of your max for 10 reps. Chances are you will experience a fatigue sensation after squatting.

So if you want to experience some spine-chilling workouts, start training those back, hip and leg muscles to stimulate the nervous system which will in turn create growth and performance.