Monday, March 7, 2016

The 46 Year Old #SelfieSaturday for #MotivatedMonday


Well it is officially my 46th birthday today (Saturday) and I feel pretty good. This time last year I weighed about 165 and I looked hot, and this year I weigh exactly 170.2 (down nearly 15 lbs for those keeping track of my Fat Out progress) and looking pretty hot. Also looking like a BowFlex commercial, but at this point I am starting to look and sound like one. For good reason actually. That BowFlex as much as people would give someone a hard time for using one of those instead of real weight (thank GOD I was never one of those) my workouts have been at the very least twice as productive with it.

There are some things I never considered in the past. The ability to fight through a sticking point. With normal weigh the balancing point of fatigue would make it so that your arms, legs etc would fall out of position, potentially causing an injury point. With the BowFlex you can fight through these things and get a few extra. You can really feel the difference the next day, and I have to say I really love that. The ability to speed myself between sets has made it so I can get twice as many sets and reps into my usual hour and a half workout as well. Live and learn.

Let's get to this week's videos ... We'll concentrate on the back ... (You can see all of the back exercises for the BowFlex right here)

Lying Shoulder Pullover
Shoulder Extension (elbow stabilized)
Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes the upper back (the latissimus dorsi, teres major, and rear deltoid muscles). It also involves the chest (the pectoralis major muscles). The triceps muscles, located on the back of the upper arms, are involved in maintaining the elbow position and also help with shoulder motion.
Pulley position: Narrow.
Starting position:
• With the bench flat, lie on your back with your head toward the Power Rods®. Position yourself far enough down the bench to allow the arms to extend overhead without hitting the Power Rods®. Keep the knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
• Extend the arms overhead and grasp the handles with your palms facing the ceiling.
• Tighten your abdominals to stabilize your spine while maintaining a very slight arch in the lower back.
Motion:
• Move your hands in an arc upward and then down toward your legs.
• Keep your shoulder blades on the bench, pinch them together and slide them downward toward your hips as your arms move.
• End the motion with your arms by your sides, pressing your shoulder blades down, completely tightening your lats.
• Control the return to the starting position by slowly moving the arms back overhead and releasing the shoulder blades.
Optional motions:
• Bilateral movement – both arms pulling at the same time.
• Unilateral movement – performing all reps with one arm before moving to the next.
• Alternating – performing one rep on one side and then the next rep on the other side.
• Simultaneously alternating – both arms moving, although in opposite directions (one pulling while the other is returning).
Key points:
• Do not lose spinal alignment. Relax your neck, keep your chest lifted, abs tight and maintain a very slight arch in your lower back.
• Keep the lats tightened throughout the entire motion.
• Release your shoulder blades at the end of each rep and initiate each new rep by depressing your shoulder blades.


Wide Pulldowns
Shoulder Adduction (with elbow flexion)
Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes the latissimus dorsi, teres major and rear deltoid which make up the large pulling muscles of your upper back. It also involves the muscles on the front of your upper arms (the biceps group) which are responsible for bending your elbows.
Pulley position: Lat tower.
Starting position:
• To determine the appropriate grip width for you, hold your upper arms straight out to the sides at shoulder height. Bend your elbows approximately 90 degrees. Your hands should be no wider than your elbows. (For many individuals slightly less than elbow width is more comfortable.)
• Facing the Power Rods®, grasp the bar at a width determined above, then sit on the bench.
• Position your knees directly under the pulleys and sit upright with your arms extending upward. NOTE: You may position your hips directly under the pulleys but then you must lean back slightly from hips (not the waist).
• Maintain good spinal alignment, chest lifted, abs tight and maintain a very slight arch in your lower back.
Motion:
• Initiate the movement by pulling your shoulder blades down and together while simultaneously drawing your elbows downward to the sides, and then inward, toward your trunk.
• The bar does not have to touch your chest but, at the end of the motion, your arms should be drawn near your sides, your shoulder blades should be fully depressed toward your hips and your forearms must be in line with the direction of the cables (not rotated forward).
• Slowly return to the starting position allowing your arms and shoulder blades to move fully upward, without relaxing the muscles.
Key points:
• From the side view the forearms should appear to remain in line with the cables.
• Do not lose spinal alignment.
• Do not lean backward as you pull.
• Keep the chest up, especially at the bottom of the movement.
• Keep your lats tightened throughout the entire motion.
• Do not move your elbows posteriorly on the way down.


Narrow Pulldowns
Shoulder Extension (with elbow flexion)
Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes the latissimus dorsi, teres major and rear deltoid which make up the large pulling muscles of your upper back. It also involves the muscles on the front of your upper arms (the biceps group) which are responsible for bending your elbows.
Pulley position: Lat tower.
Starting position:
• Attach a single handle to each cable.
• Facing the Power Rods®, grasp the handles with the corresponding hand, palms facing each other, and sit on the bench.
• Position your knees directly under the pulleys and sit upright with your arms extending upward. NOTE: You may position your hips directly under the pulleys but then you must lean back slightly from hips (not the waist).
• Maintain good spinal alignment, chest lifted, abs tight and maintain a very slight arch in your lower back.
Motion:
• Keeping your hands shoulder width, initiate the movement by pulling your shoulder blades down and together while simultaneously drawing your elbows downward to the front, and then back toward the sides of your body.
• At the end of the motion, your arms should be drawn near your sides, your shoulder blades should be fully depressed toward your hips and your forearms must be upward in line with the direction of the cables (not rotated forward).
• Slowly return to the starting position allowing your arms and shoulder blades to move upward fully, without relaxing the muscles.
Optional motions:
• Bilateral movement – both arms pulling at the same time.
• Unilateral movement – performing all reps with one arm before moving to the next.
• Alternating – performing one rep on one side and then the next rep on the other side.
• Simultaneously alternating – both arms moving, although in opposite directions (one pulling while the other is returning).
Key points:
• Do not lose spinal alignment.
• Keep the lats tightened throughout the entire motion.
• Do not lean backward as you pull.
• Keep the chest up, especially at the bottom of the movement.


Lying Lat Pulldowns
Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes the latissimus dorsi, teres major and rear deltoid which make up the large pulling muscles of your upper back, and eliminates the biceps from the movement.
Pulley position: Wide.
Starting position:
• Lie on your back on the bench, head toward the Power Rods®. Your buttocks will eventually be off the end of the bench.
• Slip your arms through the handles and slide the cuffs just past your elbows and tighten cuffs.
• Grasp the cable with your palms facing inward and slide your body down along the bench far enough that your arms are fully extended, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
• Although they will be overhead, position your upper arms wide, out to the sides.
• Tighten your abdominals to stabilize your spine while maintaining a very slight arch in the lower back.
Motion:
• Initiate the movement by pulling your shoulder blades down toward your bottom while simultaneously pulling your elbows out to the sides, then down and inward toward the sides of the torso.
• Slowly return to the starting position, allowing your arms and shoulder blades to move back up toward the Power Rods® without relaxing.
Key points:
• Do not lose spinal alignment.
• Keep the lats tightened throughout the entire motion.
• Release your shoulder blades at the end of each rep and initiate each new rep by depressing your shoulder blades.
• This exercise may also be performed by grasping the handles, although you will have to slide farther down the bench to create starting position tension.