Today’s tip centres around back training. Effective back training poses a number of problems.
Incorrect technique can be particularly hazardous, breathing properly is harder, especially for the heavier compound movements and because you cannot actually see your back while training you are much more dependent on the all important ‘mind & muscle’ connection as well as the ‘feel’ of each contraction to make sure your breaking adequate amounts of muscle down and directing plenty of de-oxygenated blood also to the working muscles.
So, here’s the tip to help alleviate these problems:
For each and every back exercise try arching your back.
Please exercise caution and consider wearing adequate support for the heavier ‘bent over rows, t-bar rows, dead-lifts etc’ but the principle still stands.
Take the pull-downs for example, try sitting right into the machine, arch your back and you lats will just pop out nicely so that they are perfectly in-line with the source of resistance. For the close grips, keep the elbows tucked right in, straighten your back as you breathe in for the negative stretching the muscles as your hands are raised, then arch your back and exhale as you keep your elbows in and you pull the close grips down to your upper chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together and holding the contraction for a couple of seconds.
This will not only ensure that your back’s doing all the work (as your antagonistic muscles – in this case the abs are stretched) but you’ll also be able to breathe easier as well as having a much greater feel for what areas of the back are being stressed, in other words – what exercises are doing what!
Give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!