'Show Muscles' for Strength vs. 'Go Muscles' for Performance

Robert Pomazak
Dumbbell Rows
Dumbbell Rows


Strength and performance training are different animals. In strength training, you use the processes of overload, specificity and progression to gain strength and build lean body mass. You develop your "show muscles"—the ones you see when you face the mirror: your pectorals, abs, biceps, and quadriceps. But although they do look good when developed, they only play a small part in your overall performance as an athlete.

In performance training, you work your "go muscles"—the muscles of the posterior chain (the back of the body), which fire the engine for most athletic movements: your traps, lats, triceps, glutes, hamstrings and hip mobilizers, all of which work together to provide you with stability, power and total body strength.

"Go muscles" are the true workhorses in the kinetic chain, but many young strength trainers don't pay enough attention to them.

To help you find balance and move more efficiently, here are some of my favorite "go muscle" exercises. Be prepared to use lights weights and bands and perform body weight movements.

Hip Mobilizers

Stability: Fire Hydrants
Strength: Barbell Hip Press Bridges
Power: TheraBand Hip Abductions


Stability: Physioball Hamstring Curls
Strength: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift or Med Ball Reach
Power: Deadlift


Stability: Single-Leg Bridge Marching
Strength: Squat
Power: Single-Leg Step-Ups

Lats & Shoulders

Stability: TRX Y & T Pulls
Strength: Bent Over Rows/ Pull-Ups
Power: Band Rows

Traps/ Rhomboids

Stability: Neck Isometric Holds (L, R & Middle) - 3-second count x 10
Strength: Single-Arm DB Shrug
Power: Barbell Power Shrug

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This article originally appeared on STACK.com: 'Show Muscles' for Strength vs. 'Go Muscles' for Performance

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