Back Day Classics with a Twist
Athlete, Brett Scott, takes 3 classic back day exercises and adds some Carbs for a day of gains in the gym. She picked up her little "Big Buddy" of Carbo Max at Muscle Supplements and he quickly became her best workout buddy. Later we will talk more about the dreaded "carbs" but for now check these moves out and click on links to watch the How to Videos.
How to do a Barbell Upright Row (Upright Barbell Row)
- Hold a barbell using an overhand grip (your palms facing down) with the hands spaced closer than your shoulder width. Stand straight, keeping the bar close to your thighs with the arms extended and maintain a moderate bend in the elbows. It will be your initial position.
- Pull the bar up using the sides of the shoulders and make sure that your elbows remain flared out throughout the movement. Keeping the bar as close to the body as possible, continue lifting the weight until it almost touches your chin.
- Pause for 1-2 seconds before lowering the barbell slowly back to the initial position.
- Perform the desired number of reps.
How To Do The Straight-Arm Pulldown
Step 1: Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station. Grasp an end in each hand and face the cable station.
Step 2: Draw your shoulder blades back together and down, as if you were trying to stuff them into your back pockets. Think: “proud chest.”
Step 3: Draw your ribs down, tuck your tailbone under, and brace your core. Your torso should feel like one tight, solid column. Bend your hips back until your torso is at a 30–45-degree angle.
Step 4: Step back from the station a bit so that you feel tension on the cable and your arm are fully extended overhead. You should feel a stretch on your lats (the muscles along the sides of your back). Set your feet at shoulder width.
Step 5: Slowly drive your arms down to your sides in an arcing motion with elbows locked out, so your hands end up in line with your hips, or just behind them.
Step 6: Reverse the motion slowly to extend your arms again.
The straight-arm pulldown may also be done with a lat-bar or straight-bar or close grip attachment, but the rope allows for better shoulder positioning and a slightly greater range of motion. As a result, you’ll get greater muscle activation.
In any case, it’s important to keep the elbows extended, as any bending will cause the tri-ceps to get involved and reduce the involvement of the lats.
Muscles Worked in the Straight-Arm Pulldown
- Upper back
- Read deltoid
How to do Seated Cable Row
Sit on the platform with your knees bent and grasp the cable attachment. It often has a triangle handle, but it may be a bar. Position yourself with your knees slightly bent and so that you have to reach to grab the handle with outstretched arms yet without curling the lower back over. Brace the abdominals and you're ready to row.
- Pull the handle and weight back toward the lower abdomen while trying not to use the momentum of the row too much by moving the torso backward with the arms.
- Target the middle to upper back by keeping your back straight and squeezing your shoulder blades together as you row, chest out.
- Return the handle forward under tension to full stretch, remembering to keep that back straight even though flexed at the hips. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions
But I thought carbs were bad????
No, unless your strictly focused on weight loss and have cut all carbs, you need carbs after your workout. This is critical because it starts the whole recovery/muscle growth process. Following a hard workout, your body is severely depleted of glycogen and glucose.
During the workout hard working muscles use glucose (usable energy) and glycogen (stored energy) for energy. As such, there is a point at which blood glucose levels (available energy) and glycogen levels (stored energy) get so low that intense exercise can't continue. There just isn't enough available energy for your muscles to use.
So what happens is that the hormone cortisol is secreted, this is your body's "stress" hormone and it has very catabolic effects. What cortisol does is eat up muscle tissue for protein and convert it into glucose. A process called gluconeogenesis ensues, producing glucose from these amino acids in the liver. The net result is a loss of muscle tissue.
Drinking intra-post workout simple carb shake is very important. It also allows insulin to be released, this is, as most of you know, one of several anabolic hormones in the body (if you are a natural trainer especially, you want to maximize the release of all your body's anabolic hormones through all available methods).