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Straight-Arm Pulldown Vs Decline Cable Pullover

Both are great for isolating the lower lats but which is better because of its increased range of motion and time under tension.

Straight-Arm Pulldown
A classic exercise, the straight-arm pulldown is a great pre-exhaust movement for lats or as a finisher at the end of a brutal back workout. It completely isolates the lats while also calling into play the core musculature. You have probably felt your deep abdominals hard at work during a gruelling set of these pulldowns, and that is absolutely critical and expected. The exercise requires considerable stabiliser activity, especially the heavier you go. If you are stopping the bar on the upward phase when your arms approach parallel, your lats and core are under extreme tension. Many athletes allow the bar to travel too high, causing a loss of tension in the lats. The two keys for this exercise are to hold the peak contraction for a count at the bottom with the bar directly in your line of sight, and pulling it all the way into your body at the bottom of the rep as you squeeze your lats.

Decline Cable Pullover
This lower lat exercise takes a little trial and error in terms of bench placement. You have to place the bench far enough away from the stack to allow your arms full extension at the start of the rep without letting the plates touch down. You might have to do a couple of trial reps to ensure you are set up correctly. Unlike the straight-arm pulldown, the decline pullover requires minimla stabiliser activity. If you are thinking the pullover is a chest move, you are correct, but it is even more so when performed in an incline or flat position. The decline pullover is an excellent lat exercise whose key is a shoulder-width grip and completely straight arms throughout the movement. Opening and closing the angle of the elbows will automatically involve triceps and chest.

The Winner: Decline Cable Pullover
Even though your head is lower than your legs, with the cable gravity does not diminish the effectiveness of the exercise as you pull the bar into your lower body, therefore your alts remain involved longer. Because the bar travels closer to your legs, you can squeeze your lats as you would during the straight-arm pulldown. However, the angle of your body causes the lats to be engaged through a greater range of motion. In contrast to the straight-arm pulldown, which requires you to stop the bar to keep tension, the decline cable allows you to reach back overhead while maintaining that necessary tension in the lats. The fact that you do not have to worry about balance makes the decline cable pullover the clear winner in the race towards building incredible lower lats.


Most Effective Ab Exercises

The Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University conducted a study to analyse 13 of the most common ab exercises and then ranked them from best to worst. Exercises included in the study were traditional crunches, modified crunches, partial bodyweight exercises, and exercises using home and gym equipment. Researchers measured activity in the upper and lower rectus abdominis, external obliques, and the rectus femoris. Exercises requiring constant ab stabilisation and body rotation created the most muscle activity in the obliques. The best exercise for working the obliques are the captain’s chair, bicycles and reverse crunch. The best exercise to target the rectus abdominis are the bicycles, captain’s chair and exercise-ball crunches.


Swiss Ball Lifts Don’t Deliver Core Benefits

The theory makes sense, performing a bench press or military press on a Swiss ball should engage more of the stabilising muscles of your core. In reality, though this isn’t the case. A study released by the Human Performance Laboratory at California State University, suggests that abdominal muscle activation during a three-rep max chest press and shoulder press was similar whether performed on a Swiss ball or on a flat bench. Performing these lifts on a Swiss ball does have some benefit, however. It’s just not in developing core strength. Those lifts work the stabilising muscles of the shoulder, not the core. If you were to use the Swiss ball for that purpose it would have to be somewhere in the range of 15 to 25 repetitions with low weights.

Basic lifts on a stable surface, provide a better overall stimulus. A heavy squat, deadlift or military press is always going to be more effective at activating the core than any Swiss ball lift.

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Ab Fat Linked To Alzheimer’s Disease

Abdominal fat deposition is a sign of poor metabolic heath. It is an important symptom of the Metabolic Syndrome that includes insulin resistance, abnormal blood fats, high blood pressure, any type II diabetes. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine found that midlife abdominal obesity increased the risk of dementia. CT scans of the abdomen and brains of 733 older adults (average age of 60) showed that those with more abdominal fat had the greatest rates of brain deterioration.

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Dumbbell Biceps Curls

Dumbbell Biceps CurlThe dumbbell bicep curls target the biceps brachii, which is located on the upper arm between the shoulder and the elbow. These are the muscles you rely on to hold heavy objects.

To perform the biceps curls follow these steps:
– Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand feet hip-width apart.
– Let your arms hang down at your sides with your palms forward.
– Pull your abdominals in, stand tall, and keep your knees slightly bent.
– Curl both arms upwards until they are in front of your shoulders.
– Slowly lower the dumbbells back down.

When doing this exercise always remember to:
– Keep your knees slightly bent and your posture tall. Don’t lean back or rock your body forward to help lift the weight.
– Keep your elbows as close to your body as you can without supporting your elbows on the sides of your stomach for leverage.
– Don’t rest when you get to the top or bottom of the exercise, instead keep a constant tension on the biceps.
– Lower the weight back to the starting position slowly and with control.