As an athlete, should you consider it an insult if someone says you are “quad-dominant”? Why? Because it implies the athletic muscles from your posterior side, the backside, are under-developed. Simplistically speaking, the front muscles; bi’s, tri’s, pecs & quads are known as “beach” muscles and while there is nothing wrong with developing them and looking good, the real athleticism comes from the developed posterior chain muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons of the hips, spinal erectors, glutes, hamstrings, calves and down to the ankles.
Since, as Dan John says, “the body is one piece”, you need to work the entire body and not give short shrift to those muscles, ligaments and tendons “hanging out” behind you. Developing these muscles make you more athletic, stronger, faster and a less likely chance of injury. You can’t get any more functional than that, can you? The beauty of human movement is the synchrony of the hips, glutes and hamstrings firing off at just the right time.
The prime mover are the hips and the main athletic function is extension. When you see a photo of an athlete caught at the apex of his movement, be it a sprinter, a wide receiver, or a pitcher, you see an athlete in full extension. This is what you want, right?
Personally, I am challenged to reach full hip extension in the barbell clean as well as the snatch and it is a limiting factor keeping down the weight I would be capable of successfully lifting. So, I train hip extension with just about all I do in the gym.
What are the exercises to develop the posterior chain? Take a look at my recent training logs as Scott places a primary emphasis on those big movers. Examples include the squats and their variations, the deadlifts, Olympic lifts, good mornings, push presses, dumbbell or kettlebell snatches and cleans, glute ham raises and box jumps. If you need power, this is where it comes from.
Oh, and whether you are an athlete or a non-athlete, and especially if you are a woman, you will most definitely be spending most of your training time working those beautiful posterior muscles, for all the obvious reasons!