Friday, April 19, 2013

Best back exercises Part One

Training your back muscles should be done right after training the legs.  This way you are working the largest muscles in the lower body followed by the largest muscles in the upper body which allows you to get your cardiovascular conditioning and strength training done in one workout. If you can knock out cardiovascular conditioning and strength training in the same workout, it make for a very efficient use of time.

Here are the best exercises for the back muscles, look for these free weight exercises or machines in your gym and apply the techniques.
Late model super pullover machine
Every back exercise has a weak link, the upper arms are involved.  No matter how strong your biceps are they'll never be as strong as the lats, which are some of the largest muscles in the body. The seated pullover machine can be considered the most productive upper body exercise known to man and it's one of the few back exercise machines that take out the weak link of the arm muscles because point of force is above the elbow.  Flexibility is also improved on the pullover machine because it takes you through 250 degrees of motion, no other machine can do that.

Choose a weight that you can do 2 sets of 15-20 reps with taking 1 second to pull the weight down, pause for 2 seconds in the bottom position, and take 4 seconds to lower the weight.  Make sure and go from a full stretch to a full contraction each rep.  If you have one of these in your gym, make a B-line for it ASAP as it's the best back exercises ever!
Early Nautilus pullover, none better!
Remember back in junior high when you couldn't muster up enough strength to do 3 pull ups.  Don't worry because most everyone hate pull ups, that's why it more important than ever to do them now!  There's not a gym in the country that doesn't have a pull up bar but I doubt there's many gym goers out there that know how to do them properly.  It may be a pull up station as shown, sometimes there's a pull up bar on the squat cage, or they'll usually be one on the cable cross overs.

Now should we do a palm up, parallel, or palms facing away grip on the bar. There's a simple and logical answer.  You should put your hands in the palms up or parallel position simply because that is where your bicep is biomechanically stronger.  Ask yourself, is a muscle about the size of a baseball/softball(bicep) going to be strong enough to keep up with the largest upper body muscle(lats)?  Noway no how!  Even with your biceps in the strongest position you still won't work the lat as hard as it's capable.  That's why you'll want to find/beg for a pullover machine which takes the weak bicep out of the exercise of working the lats.

Nevertheless, the pull up is an excellent upper body exercise and you should belt out as many as possible with good form.  Use a palm up grip starting in the "dead hang" position, smoothly pull yourself up taking about 1 second until your chin is above the bar, pause and hold at the top for 2 seconds, and slowly resist the negative taking 4 seconds to lower back to the dead hang position. Do as many as you can!
Pull up station

BTW, a pull down machine is not the same as pull ups!  You won't get stronger for pull ups by doing pull downs.  Pull down machines are a great exercise but you get better at doing pull ups, by doing pull ups!
This machine won't help you do pull ups!