Posts Tagged ‘back’

How to do Barbell Rows

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Back MusclesLike pull ups, heavy rows are one of the best exercises to train your back. The king of rowing exercises is the standing barbell row, but the problem is that too few people perform them properly.

You might see the following common technique flaws in people executing barbell rows:

  • momentum – using the posterior chain to generate momentum, instead of using the muscles of the back and arms
  • rounded back – weakness in the lower back or hip tightness can cause your lower back to round, which is bad for the spine
  • standing upright – you have to bend over nearly parallel to the floor in order to work the upper back properly

As I mentioned last week, you can fix all of these issues by switching from barbell rows to inverted rows, or you can learn how to perform barbell rows correctly.

Let’s talk about how we can best use barbell rows in our training routines.

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How to Deadlift

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

How to Deadlift

How to DeadliftDeadlifts are one of the primary, fundamental exercises for all serious weight training programs. Deadlifts work 100% of your legs and they require functional stability from 95% of the rest of the muscles on your body. Using proper form, deadlifts will help you get stronger, gain more muscle, and burn more calories than any other single exercise after the squat.

Deadlifts build lower back and hamstring strength, and they teach you to keep your lower back tight against a heavy load, which is critical to avoid injuries when lifting objects from the ground or floor. Unfortunately, this is also why deadlifts have gained a bad reputation of causing a variety of injuries, including spinal injuries and hernias.

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Top 6 Back Training Mistakes

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Do you limit yourself by avoiding horizontal or vertical back movements? Did you know that your traps and lower back also need to be strengthened? Are you stuck on lat pull downs as your main back exercise? Can’t do a pull up?

Tsk, tsk, tsk…

Avoid these 6 common back training mistakes and you will have a much better chance of looking like Atlas and performing like an Olympian.

Back Training Mistakes

The Top 6 Back Training Mistakes

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The Top 5 Best Lower Back Exercises

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Lower Back GuyWhile the lower back may be the easiest part of your back to acquire mass, it is also the easiest to injure. Think about all of the people with factory jobs spending all day picking up heavy boxes. These people will have very developed backs from doing this all day and they aren’t even weight lifters or bodybuilders.

The way people get injured isn’t necessarily the injured. I swear, you hear people all the time say all this shit about deadlifts being bad. This could not be further from the truth.

It is the way you perform the exercise. If you pick the bar off the ground with your back rounded like crazy, then yeah, of course you are going to get injured.

Lower Back Chick

How to Get a Muscular Lower Back

Like mentioned above, this may be the easiest muscle to get built up. Obviously, the deadlift will be the best exercise to utilize to achieve this goal.

Deadlifts can also be dangerous since a lot of people just never figure out how to use correct form. Either that, or they will try to go too heavy to inflate their ego and sacrifice form in doing so.

Here’s a hint: if you have to round your back in order to deadlift 500 lbs, then you should probably lower the weight. Drop the ego and use the right form, please.

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The Top 5 Best Back Exercises

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

Arnold T-bar RowNothing is more impressive than being able to bang out 30 pull ups in a row or finishing a set of 10 with 90 lbs hanging from a belt. Nothing LOOKS more impressive than being able to hit an impressive front or rear lat spread with confidence. Furthermore, how many women do you know who can finish a set of 10 pull ups? Trust me, there aren’t many.

The reality is that we can accomplish all of these things with intense free weight back training.

Your back muscles comprise the second largest set of muscles, after the legs. Therefore, putting some serious effort into training your back will pay off huge dividends whether you are looking to burn a large number of calories, better fill out your shirts, condition your body for functional strength, or even to fix your posture from focusing too long on chest training.

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Suggested Rehabilitation for Common Types of Shoulder Injury

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Shoulder Rehab
Fitness Shoulders
Chronic Shoulder Instability and Impingement Syndrome are the most common types of shoulder injury. Chronic Shoulder Instability occurs when the ‘head’ of the upper arm bone moves out of the shoulder socket. This results in a shoulder joint dislocation and causes great pain. On the other hand, impingement syndrome is prompted by friction occurring between the shoulder blade and rotator cuff. The friction from the rotator cuff and the shoulder blade may be caused by inflammation in a tendon or muscle.

Preparations to Rehab an Injured Shoulder

It’s important to remember that any injury needs to be checked and treated by an accredited physician.  They may recommend medication and several rehabilitation techniques to encourage the shoulder to heal and function as soon as possible.  The Physician will also be able to see the specifics of your injury that may alter they way you would treat it. Here are some tips to consider when preparing an injured shoulder for rehabilitation.
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The 5 Most Common Weight Lifting Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Monday, February 25th, 2013

How to Prevent Injuries that Will Derail Your Progress

Deadlift Girl Good Form
Adding weight lifting to your workout routine on a weekly basis can offer the average fitness buff a world of benefits.

For one thing, it can make you stronger, as expected, helping you to overcome obstacles in other types of exercise (running faster, throwing farther, jumping higher, etc.). But it can also help you to create the physique you’ve been trying for (whether it’s bulking you crave or simply a frame that features better muscle tone) and even lose weight if that’s what you want (muscle burns more calories than fat). And that’s just the beginning.

Weight lifting, when done improperly, can also result in a slew of injuries, most of which can be easily avoided by warming up and cooling down, building up to greater weights or more reps over time, using proper form, listening to your body, and asking for help from a spotter.

Here are just a few common weight lifting injuries that are best avoided:

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How to Protect Your Back When Weightlifting

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Strong BackWeight lifting is a great way to exercise, build toned muscle, burn calories, and promote overall health–but it can be dangerous as well. Our bodies aren’t used to the stress of heavy lifting, and our backs are particularly vulnerable to strain and injury.

An injured back can keep you out of the gym for weeks, or even months at a time, depending on the severity of the injury and your ability to recover. If you want to stay healthy, strong, and transform your body into a work of art, always remember to protect your back.

Step 1: Warm Up

Never start a workout without warming up first. Your body just isn’t ready for the stress of heavy lifting when you walk through the gym doors. You need to get primed before you start hitting the weights.

  • A short cardio warm up on the treadmill or elliptical is a great way to warm up your muscles and get the blood moving in your body. It is not necessary to use high intensity during your warm up. This is just a 5 minute effort to get the muscles moving.

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How to Prevent a Back Injury When Weight Lifting

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Deadlift Chick

Injuries

Nearly everyone who trains, whether bodybuilding, powerlifting, strongman, or just a general fitness routine, has at some point suffered from an injury. And whether it’s a minor sprain or a broken bone it can definitely derail your progress towards your fitness goals, leading to weeks or months of recovery in which all of your hard work slowly slips away via loss of both muscle mass, strength, and conditioning.

My Personal Experience

I mean, I once walked into a Gold’s Gym after taking about a month off from training, with the intention to deadlift. I wasn’t planning to hit a 1rm or a PR that day. It was just simple sets of 5 to get back into the rythym. On the second set, at 50% of my previous 1rm, my back spasmed, I dropped the weight, and I was out of the weight room for another solid month.

Every athlete and weightlifter has some version of this sad story.

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3 More Back Training Mistakes

Monday, July 18th, 2011

I am not going to get into a long detailed post today. Instead I am going to supplement my top 6 back training mistakes post with another guest post about back training by expert Mike Robertson. I’m not cool enough to get Mike to post on my website though, so I have to link to the post from another blog entirely.

Find it here: 3 back training mistakes you could be making.

Mike tells you how people go wrong by training without a neutral spine, without a neutral pelvis, and without paying attention to detail. This is just another example of how every aspect of your physiology has to be healthy and aligned, or you risk injury.

About Mike Robertson

Mike Robertson received his Masters Degree in Sports Biomechanics from the world-renowned Human Performance Lab at Ball State University. He is also the president of Robertson Training Systems and the co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training, which has been named one of America’s Top 10 Gyms by Men’s Health magazine in 2009 and 2010.

About Rick Kaselj

Since the guest post is actually posted on his site, this is a lead in to another awesome fitness blogger, a guy named Rick Kaselj who is an expert on sports injuries. Hopefully he will write a couple guest posts for Project Swole soon. I’ve requested some serious rehab / prehab articles and I know if he can find the time to write them, you will be amazed.