0800 040 7526
Rule 4 – train synergists and fixators last
If synergists (the little muscle that helps the big muscle perform a movement, eg the triceps in a push up) are trained before the agonist (main muscle) in a strength training session then the fatigue that they will suffer makes them ineffective at performing their synergistic role. In the push up example this would mean that if you have trained triceps first, you will only be able to do so many repetitions before they fail, leaving the main mucle that you are trying to work out (chest) unchallenged. Thus it will not improve.
Other smaller muscles, as well as being synergists (the helper muscles) are also fixators. These contract in a mainly isometric (holding) manner to fixate or stabilise the joint and/or the rest of the body. Quite often the core muscles are fixators in an exercise, providing a solid platform to work on. This occurs particularly in free standing or free weight exercises, particularly ones that involve more than one joint. A good example of these exercises would be a bent over row,squat or a deadlift.
Thus, these exercises are great to make you fitter and stronger as they chalenge lots of areas at once, and work the core functionally, as a stabiliser, just as in real life.
However, if you were to train these core fixators before a compound workout, fixator fatigue would decrease the ability of the body to keep the spine in safe alignment during exercise. This increases the risk of injury as well as decreasing the efectiveness of the exercies being performed.
This is why, with a good personal trainer, core exercises should always come at the end of a session!