VeeFitness

Bringing you the latest in health and fitness


1 Comment

Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Barbell Row


Reverse-grip bent-over barbell rows

Target:
Lower lats.

Best In Workout:
Because you are so much stronger during this move and because it is a bent-over move that taxes the lower back to a great extent, perform this early in your training.

Sets & Reps:
Perform 4 sets with 6-12 reps

Stance:
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, grasp a barbell with an underhand, shoulder-width grip. A firm solid, foundation will help you get the most out of the row. The reverse grip will automatically allow you to be stronger (than the overhand-grip version) because you are engaging your biceps.

Bent Knees:
Keeping your knees slightly bent, lean forward at your waist until your torso is roughly parallel with the floor. You want to have a little “give” in your knees throughout the set. Slightly opening and closing the angle of your knees will allow a follow-through movement on each rep while also alleviating your lower back from undue stress.

Barbell:
The barbell should hang straight down and very close to the front of your shins. Without raising your upper body, pull the barbell up toward your lower abdomen, bringing your elbows high and ubove the level of your back. You can actually drag the bar up the quads to your lower abs. By dragging the bar, you are sure to fully engage those lower-lat fibres with better accuracy because it will keep your arms in line with the sides of your body.

At The Top:
Hold the bar in the peak-contracted position for a brief count then slowly lower the along the same path. When the bar is near your abdomen, your elbows should actually be behind the plane of your back. It is at that point that you can squeeze your lower lats with incredible intensity. Try holding that point for up to 2 seconds before lowering the bar to full-arm extension.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Is It Necessary To Use A Weight Belt When Training? I Hear It Can Actually Limit How Much Strength You Gain In Your Lower Back


Belts are viewed as more of a necessity, simply because your lower back is crucial to everything else you do. There are a lot of people who believe that by wearing a belt, you are limiting your lower back development, and that is true to some extent. But just like with straps, if your lower back is out of shape and you are a bodybuilder, you will want to offer it some additional training exercises with back extensions or lighter deadlifts to make sure the area gets the attention it needs. You are only as strong as your weakest link. Do not leave your belt in the bag because you think it makes you less of a lifter, though. It can be the tool that helps you train safer and for longer than guys who choose not to wear one.


Leave a comment

Balanced Training Recommendations


1) Perform an equal number of exercises with the same relative intensity between opposing muscle groups (eg, back and chest, hamstrings and quads, biceps and triceps). If you already have a deficit, try to do more sets on the weaker/disregarded bodyaprt until you have achieved better balance. Then train bodyparts equally.
2) To bring your training into balance, focus on isolation (single-joint) exercises while also modifying the compound movements that target the various muscle groups. For example some exercises, such as the squat and leg press, are generally regarded as quadriceps moves, even though they absolutely involve the hamstrings and glutes. However, by altering foot placement (wider, higher on platforms etc.) you can shift the emphasis to the less involved hamstrings.
3) If you have an existing deficit between opposing muscle groups, spend some extra time stretching the stronger muscle group and strengthening the weaker one.
4) If you find a specific bodypart to be particularly stubborn at responding to an adequate training stimulus, consider adding an extra day (or two) specifically dedicated to working the stubborn bodypart until it catches on.


Leave a comment

Using Straps – A Good Idea?


I know a strong grip is needed in all pulling exercises, so when is it a good idea to use straps?

This comes down to preference. Straps are not great if strength is your main goal because it is just extra help you are giving to your lifts so you do not get a true indicator of total strength. Straps will take away from your forearm and biceps strength, which is crucial on so many lifts. If you ever want to enter a raw lifting competition and you have done all your training with straps, you will be in for a surprise. You should train to mimic how you might compete, which is strapless. On the other hand, straps are fine for strict bodybuilding purposes, in that getting a few more reps on certain lifts can help you target muscles beyond failure, which is want you want. So again, it depends on your goals. If pure strength is your goal, then it is advisable to stay away from them. If you are looking to bring up bodyparts like your back, then occasional use is fine. Just do not become too reliant on straps.


Leave a comment

Beach Bummed


Competitive bodybuilders usually train for symmetry and proportion in an effort to build an aesthetically pleasing physique. There are many individuals who go to the gym to build up their beach muscles, disregarding symmetry and proportion in designing their training programs. Instead of training opposing muscle groups equally, they sometimes ignore the muscles they cannot see (back, hamstrings, calves, quads) and focus on the muscles they admire in the mirror everyday (chest, biceps, shoulders and abs). Although training specific muscle groups more than others can create an unbalanced-looking physique, disregarding a muscle group over time can potentially lead to other problems that may subject the body to injury.

One common mistake with regard to balanced training is performing an unbalanced training program between the chest and back muscles. The amount of time, energy, effort, volume and frequency between the agonist chest muscles and the antagonists back muscles may not be equal, or even close. A simple example would be an athlete who performs 4 sets os four exercises for the chest (for a total number of 16 sets) and does only 3 sets of three exercises for the back (for a total number of 9 working sets). Following this unbalanced training regime over time will result in back muscles much weaker than the chest muscles. This imbalance may lead to a slightly kyphotic posture (forward/rounded shoulders) that can potentially cause shoulder problems because of the faulty posture. In addition to the stronger chest muscles (compared to the back muscles) pullong the shoulders forward, inadequate stretching of the chest musculature can further contribute to this problem.

For some people, training legs consists of quads and that is it. The disregard their hamstrings while training only the quadriceps. Exercises such as the leg extensions, hack squats and front squats place a large amount of emphasis on the quads. Although these exercises are great you need to do an equal amount of hamstring work with leg curls and romanian deadlifts to stress both muscle groups. Distributing attention evenly to both muscle groups can give you healthier knees and lower back, as well as fewer hamstring strains because of an unbalanced hamstring-to-quad strength ration.

A less obvious training error woth regard to balanced training concerns the shoulders. Overhead shoulder press, incline bench press, flat bench press and other chest and shoulder pressing movements are critical for maximal muscle development. However, these exercises focus on the major muscle groups such as the deltoids, pectoralis major, pectoralis minor and other muscles known as prime movers. Often ignored in a training regime is the training or isolation of the smaller muscle groups in the shoulder known as the rotator cuff (the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis) that are critical in keeping the upper arm in the socket of the shoulder. Failure to train these smaller muscles groups, two of which are not even visible can create an imbalance between the large prime movers and small stabilisers. This lack of imbalance in strength may result in bursts of bursitis, tendinitis or even rotator cuff tears in the shoulder joint.