What did you do at the weekend? Aside from watching the rugby? I made it to the gym for some back day upper body training. Got fewer questions than I usually get about what I am doing but filmed a little video in case you wanted to have a look...
For this training block I have added in some variations to keep my progress fresh and provide a new stimulus for my body. For example, since I have been training for strength over the past couple of months I have neglected my athletic training, and have noticed that my ability to create massive power has fallen considerably. Therefore, I have added explosive TR X Rows into my program (the first exercise you can see on the video). Notice that after each rep I reset and rest for a few seconds to prime my body for the next, explosive rep. Variation in training is a good thing - it keeps your mind fresh and stops you becoming too accustomed to a particular exercise. Your muscles (and the surrounding supporting muscles) are required to work in new ways and it can also give your joints a much needed rest.
The second exercise on the video is the Standing One Arm Cable Row, which has replaced my favourite back exercise, the One Arm Dumbbell Row. The Standing One Arm Cable Row provides a slightly different emphasis to the dumbbell row by greatly increasing the core and abdominal strength required for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as you are performing the movement standing, you are providing a large anti-flexion force as the pulley stack tries to pull you towards it. Similarly, the exercise is anti-rotation, as it is unilateral (single sided) and therefore you have to work your core and glutes hard to stop your body twisting under the force of the pulley. Simply, you are getting an abdominal workout at the same time as the back workout just because you're bracing so hard to hold the correct position!
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