ON THE BENEFITS OF SUBORDINATE EXERCISES
BOTH IN REGARDS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BODY AS WELL AS THE WELL-BEING OF THE MIND
BY DONNY SHANKLE CPT
“Familiarity Breeds Contempt.” Anonymous
Death Marching is a great posterior chain exercise I learned from coach Pendlay. Many of the subordinate exercise if you have not noticed in this chapter are posterior chain related and this is because a strong back is vitally important for the weightlifter along with very powerful legs. Death marching focuses on training in particular the hamstrings and glutes unilaterally. The entire back of the body however is worked to some degree. Everything from the traps, lats, spinal erectors, hamstrings, glutes, and calves are all under stress. Since the exercise is performed on one leg it is also great at strengthening your balance which is one of the key athletic elements for the weightlifter.
End of eccentric
To set up for the death march hold two dumbbells at your side in a standing position using a hook grip. Let your arms relax and take a step forward that is not to wide and not to short. The step should be just enough to allow you to go all the way down and touch the dumbbells to the floor while keeping your back straight and your lead leg only slightly bent. Focus on not letting the knee move beyond the toe and feel the stretch in your hamstring. This is the end of the eccentric phase. Once the dumbbells touch the floor stand back up and step forward with your back foot, again placing it on the ground not to far away from the rear foot.
“Your gait should be as close to your normal walking gait as possible.” - Coach Pendlay
Concentrate the entire time on keeping your back straight with your head up. This is the end of the concentric phase. Repeat the process for about five to ten steps each leg. The prime movers during the exercise are the hamstrings and glutes. The stabilization muscles are the lats, traps, calves and abdominals.
REPS: 5 – 10 steps
ADVANCED WAY: walk across a four inch beam
DURATION: 5 – 10 minutes
PLACEMENT IN TRAINING: At the end of a weeks training alternated with split marches at the end of training or on an active rest day.