Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bodybuilding Mauritius Quick tips: Pulldowns and Face pulls. By Vic Goyaram

Quick tips on back training
By Vic Veeraj Goyaram
Exclusive for Bodybuilding Mauritius

Exercise #1: Front lat pulldowns

"Get your form right. A pulldown is not a row"
Charles Glass teaches proper lat pulldowns
to Gunter Schlierkamp
Do not turn lat pulldowns into rowing movements by rocking the body back and forth every repetition. You will have plenty of opportunity to do rows with barbell, T-bar, dumbbells and pulley in the back workout. A pulldown is not a row. Cut the weight you usually use for pulldowns into half and then proceed as follows (picture):

1. Keep torso straight.

2. Point elbows slightly forward.

3. Use a medium grip

4. Pull to just below the chin level. Pull with the elbows.

5. Do not allow arm to fully extend at the top. Let the weight pull your elbows (and thus your lats) without allowing your arm to extend too much. Watch the angle between the forearms and the biceps. Use arms as hooks.

The important point is to focus on pulling with the elbows and keep body straight throughout the set. When you have mastered the technique you can add weight. This works the region where Charles Glass is pointing. This will widen you up.

Exercise #2: Face pulls

"For back detail and shoulder health, a must do"

Buddy, this is an exercise that you must never leave out of your routine. Face pulls! These work the rear delts, the middle traps and teres minor/ infraspinatus, rhomboids, those little muscles which add significant detail to your rear double biceps pose. Besides detail, developing the infraspinatus and rhomboids do a lot in terms of long term shoulder health. This exercise is a staple in powerlifting circles, used to offset all the chest pressing. It also helps improve your posture. According to the great trainer Charles Poliquin "most people get shoulder problems because they spend so much time working what they can see in the mirror. So that's (face pulls) the opposite"
Gilbert and Kamlesh showing impressive upper (and overall) back detail.
Do this exercise as follows:

1. Use a pulley set at about chest level

2. Use a rope attachment and a pronated (palms down) grip

3. Keep chest out "proudly" at all times

4. Do not swing the body and use the lower back. Only the arms move. Get someone to check your form. If you insist on swinging the body in order to move a lot of weight, then stop doing this exercise. Go home.

5. Put one foot in front of the other for body stability

6. As you pull try to squeeze the shoulder blades and imagine that you are pulling the ropes apart.

7. As you reach the head externally rotate the shoulders so that your elbows face the ceiling. See picture below

Charles Poliquin teaching face pulls. At the top of the movement
external rotation is important. Get the elbows to face the ceiling.
I personally prefer another version of the face pulls, that of Mr. "Mountain Dog" John Meadows. His version (video below) is easier on the rotator cuffs. 

That's it for the quick tips. Follow us on our Facebook group for daily discussions. 

Ki zot dire? Bonnto pa bonnto sa ban exercises la?

My Bio: I am a Mauritian originally from Roche Bois, Port Louis and now based in Cape Town, South Africa where I am busy with my postgraduate studies in molecular biology of exercise. My research, supervised by Prof. Edward Ojuka and Dr. Tertius Kohn, looks at the influence of nutrition and exercise in gene expression in muscle, research which is relevant and applicable to exercising individuals, sports persons and diabetic individuals. The knowledge that I share with you stems from my 18 years of experience in bodybuilding and 8 years (and counting) of university education in the field. I have also published work in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism (2012, 2014), International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (2013) and co-authored two book chapters on exercise and diabetes. I also presented my research work at the 2012 International Sports and Exercise Nutrition Conference (UK). I am grateful to each and everyone at the UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. "Knowledge without sharing is worth nothing"
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