This week, I’m exploring which muscles help you look your best for the beach or the bedroom. In a world of functional and athletic training, working out for the sake of appearance is still important. Don’t let the nay-sayers say it’s vain or shallow to desire a good looking body. It’s perfectly understandable, and reasonable to want to look your best.
I can understand the desire to focus on the mirror muscles like the abs, arms and even the shoulders. It also makes sense to work the muscles that are most on display such as the neck, forearms, and calves. Afterall, what good is a set of great abs when they’re under a shirt all the time?
While the muscles that are on display are important, none of them compare to the importance of the muscles you don’t see in the mirror. Ironically, it’s the “hidden” muscles of your extension chain that carry the biggest influence on your physical appearance for two BIG reasons.
#1 Your extension chain controls your posture
They say 90% of communication is non-verbal. Body language screams 100 messages to everyone around you before you say a single word and your posture plays a vital role in those subliminal signals.To put it simply, your posture can make or break your physical appearance regardless of how big your muscles are or how lean you can be.
A strong extension chain will do wonders for maintaining a commanding and confident posture. It doesn’t send off those obvious “try hard” vibes that make you look like you’re trying to overcompensate. Instead, a strong set of spinal erectors and hip extensors will help your body look strong and powerful, yet relaxed and at ease. This makes for a posture that is both attractive yet also warm and inviting to those around you.
#2 Your extension chain influences the development of your mirror muscles
You may not see your extension chain, but you do notice it’s influence on every other muscle in your body. Everything from your calves to your neck muscles is influenced by the strength of your extension chain.
Try this little experiment in your next workout:
Take a moment to assume the best posture you can before every set in your next workout. It doesn’t matter what exercise you do, just work on extending your spine, pulling back your shoulders and keeping your backside tight. I promise it will improve the quality of every exercise you do and that will result in better muscular development overall.
The best ways to work your extension chain are with exercises that pick weight up from the floor like deadlifts, cleans and swings. Calisthenics exercises include bridges and hip extensions. Bridges are also one of the biggest reasons why I recommend Convict Conditioning for learning about proper bodyweight training.
So even though you may not directly see your extension chain, it’s strength and stability has a massive influence on your physique and help you look your best.