Sunday, June 26, 2016

#MotivatedMonday #SelfieSaturday and New Strategy


Well there is still a tingle in my fingertips but no pain and my muscles appear to be back to normal. Of course being a gym addict I don't just take my own word for it, I actually do some testing, and change things around a bit. Last week I demonstrated the various ways to "Indy Arm" your workouts and today I will be demonstrating an even better way to test your symmetry by doing "single arm" or "alternating" exercises. With that said, the videos below will do most of the talking, but you need to think of it this way.

1. Two hands on the same bar will give your arms the opportunity to make up for the other one, and one arm will get weaker while one gets stronger. Sooner or later you will be able to see the difference.
2. Working each arm independently but at the same time will solve the symmetry problem but sometimes will create a dexterity problem (bad form) where your body will learn to lean or swing to get more torque etc.
3. Working each arm independently but not simultaneously should tell you if you are doing things wrong. It will allow you to judge the pinch points that are causing you pain more effectively, and should be something you consider from time to time.

A wonderful example of this in practice is my alternating bicep curls. I have always done them that way, and I have never had a bicep issue, or one that was smaller than the other. I wish I could say the same for ... um ... everything else.

Have a great week everyone!

Pulldown (BowFlex Single Arm Reverse Grip)
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:
• Facing the Power Rods®, grasp the handles with an underhand grip, approximately shoulder width. 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 blade down while simultaneously drawing your elbow downward to the front, and then back toward the side of your body.
• At the end of the motion, your arm should be drawn near your side (although may not be touching your sides), your shoulder blade should be fully depressed toward your hips and your forearm must be upward in line with the direction of the cable (not forward).
• Slowly return to the starting position allowing your arm and shoulder blade to move fully upward, without relaxing the muscles.
• Repeat this motion with the other arm while keeping the previous arm stretched out upwards.
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.


Pulldown (BowFlex Single Arm Stiffarm)
Shoulder Extension (elbow stabilized near extension)
Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes your upper back (the latissimus dorsi, teres major and rear deltoid muscles), as well as the muscles between the lower part of your shoulder blades (lower trapezius muscles). The triceps muscles, located on the back of the upper arms, will also be involved.
Pulley position: Lat tower.
Starting position:
• Remove the bench, straddle the rail and stand on the platform facing the Power Rods®.
• Grasp the handles at shoulder width or slightly wider with your palms down.
• Step back slightly. This may have to be adjusted on the first rep to insure that there is enough movement in the cable to complete the range of motion.
• Lift your chest and tighten your abdominals to stabilize your spine while maintaining a very slight arch in the lower back.
Motion:
• Keeping your arm straight, initiate the movement by pulling your shoulder blade down while simultaneously drawing your arm downward to the front, and then in toward your legs.
• Allowing your shoulder blade to move with your arm, slowly return to the starting position.
• Repeat this motion with the other arm while keeping the previous arm stretched out forwards.
Key points:
• Do not lose spinal alignment — keep chest lifted.
• Keep the lats tightened throughout the entire motion.
• Keep your elbows nearly straight (not locked) throughout the entire exercise.


Pulldown (BowFlex Single Arm Wide Grip)
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:
• Facing the Power Rods®, grasp the the handles, 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 blade down while simultaneously drawing your elbow downward to the side, and then inward, toward your trunk.
• The handle does not have to touch your chest but, at the end of the motion, your arm should be drawn near your side, your shoulder blade should be fully depressed toward your hips and your forearm must be in line with the direction of the cable (not rotated forward).
• Slowly return to the starting position allowing your arm and shoulder blade to move fully upward, without relaxing the muscles.
• Repeat this motion with the other arm while keeping the previous arm stretched out upwards.
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.