Perform with Precision - Are you training back correctly?
When training back people often only focus on pulling the weight as far as possible and performing as many reps as they can. To train back effectively you need to concentrate more on the muscles you intend on using and less about the weight you are pulling. In commercial gyms I see these four exercises performed incorrectly so often. Ego takes over and the emphasis is rarely on hitting the targeted muscles. Below I have broken down how your should set up and execute of each of these popular back exercises.
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down
✓ Depress your shoulder girdle before pulling the bar down.
✓ Keep your thoracic spine fully extended, while keeping your chest up.
✓ Focus on driving your elbows into your sides in an arc like motion. Bring the bar to the top of your sternum and contract your lats as hard as possible.
✓ Return the bar back to the starting position with a controlled tempo and stretch your lats.
Chest Supported Row
✓ Start from a slight stretch position keeping your spine and head neutral at all times.
✓ Retract your shoulder blades to kick off the movement.
✓ Under controlled form drive your elbows back, keeping your neutral body shape until your elbows are behind you. Avoid using momentum to pull the weight up.
✓ Pause at the top of the range and squeeze hard for an optimal contraction.
✓ Lower the weight back down within three seconds to the start point.
Supinated Chin Ups
✓ Head tilted slightly up facing the ceiling and arms fully extended at the bottom of the range to create a deep stretch in the lats.
✓ Suppress your shoulder girdle to initiate the movement.
✓ Strong elbow drive down until you reach the top (full range will be your elbows tucked in behind your body at the top).
✓ Chin above the bar at the top, hold this position for 1 second and lower yourself back down to the fully stretched position in 3 seconds.
Single Arm DB Row
✓ Keep a wide foot placement ensuring your back is flat and in a neutral position.
✓ Stretch at the bottom of the range keeping your chest up slightly and retract your shoulder blade to start off the movement.
✓ Drive the elbow back until your reach the top of the movement whilst keeping a flat/neutral back.
✓ Pause at the top of the range for one second to achieve a good contraction (your elbow must be behind your body for full range).
✓ Lower the weight down in 3 seconds to the bottom.