The Best Back Building Exercise You are Not Doing
Blast your lats with this twist on the bent over row
The back muscles are involved in every pulling motion we do, and stabilize the body in an infinite number of others. When they are fully developed they look amazing; and more important, a strong back contributes to healthy mobility on a daily basis. The basics are essential to developing this muscle region; pull-ups, lat pull downs, bent-over rows and dead lifts, but with a little adjustment to the basics, the upper back muscles can get blasted from a fresh perspective which will encourage new growth.
One of the best back building exercises you can do with the same equipment you have now is the one arm barbell row. This exercise is best performed with a 5 foot bar or EZ curl bar for starters, progressing up to an olympic length bar for a greater challenge. The movement is performed much like a one arm dumbbell row, but with more active contraction of supporting muscles. In particular, the forearm will contract intensely as you pull the bar off the floor. As with any new exercise, start with a light to moderate weight until it becomes comfortable.
To execute the One Arm Barbell Row, place the barbell on the floor in front of you. Stand with knees slightly bent and lower back and abdominals locked in place. Grasp the bar in the exact center and contract the entire posterior muscle chain from the calves to the lower back as you lift. Squeeze the lats and biceps and tighten the grip on the bar as you row the bar from the floor in front to one side, rotating it 90 degrees as you do. Maintain control of the bar by actively contracting the working muscles throughout the concentric and eccentric phases of the movement.
Because of the intensity of the One Arm Barbell Row, it is best to use this towards the beginning of a back muscle workout and finish with pulldowns, pull-ups or other rowing exercises. Here is a great sample workout incorporating this exercise (don't forget a thorough warm-up first.)
One Arm Barbell Row:
-2-5 sets x 6-8 repetitions.
Power Cleans (from floor:)
-2-5 sets x 6-8 repetitions
-2-4 x 10-12 repetitions
Pull-ups or Lat Pulldowns:
-2-4 x 10-12 repetitions
Execute the movements with precision and control and your back muscles will start popping like never before. Couple this with good nutrition for the best results.
Some Good Nutrition Advice for Building Muscle
There are a few essential rules to follow in order to build muscle:
1. You must eat enough high quality protein:
Most experts recommend eating between 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Start with at least 1 gram per pound and work up if necessary. Good sources of lean proteins are whey powder, fish, eggs, lean red meats and poultry.
2. Eat for function first:
Don't forget to eat just because the food doesn't sound appetizing. Resolve to give your body the nutrients it needs, even if it's the sixth meal of plain tuna and greens you've swallowed today. Fortunately, there are tons of tasty and healthy recipes out there, so this should be a rare occurrence. In addition to quality proteins, fruits and vegetable should make up the remainder of the diet. Consider whole grains a luxury after these.
3. Drink at least a gallon of water every day, and more on days when you sweat excessively.
Hydration is vital to general health and life-saving for athletes. Carry a jug with you throughout the day and don't stop until the bottle is finished. Consider buying Brita water filter containers to keep at work and home, and fresh water will always be avaiable.
Remember, consistency is the key. Create a lifestyle out of staying fit and eating healthy!
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