Everything in life tends to happen in front of us. We spend extended periods sitting down and inactive.
Because of this the rear side of our body tends to go neglected. This is the posterior chain. An integral part of that chain is the scapula (the shoulder blades)
The scapula should be able to do 5 things:
- Elevate (raise)
- Depress (lower)
- Retract (pull back)
- Protract (push forward)
as well as being able to add to some rotation for the torso.
In training I like giving the shoulders a good amount of work to do. When I’m pushing I balance it out with an equal amount of pulling.
The rules for pulling or rowing are always the same:
- Puff the chest out
- Tuck the elbows
- Elbows travel only slightly past the back
The simple banded row shown here is a good place to start.
Next up is a device that I would never have even looked twice at 7-8 years ago because it wasn’t a barbell or a dumbbell:
TRX is the brand name of the most popular from of suspension trainer. They are incredibly versatile and offer a powerful pulling motion.
Much like the elevated press it presents the opportunity to involve the whole body.
When you are pulling think of the arms and hands as merely hooks. Think about your back making every effort to squeeze your lats (latissimus dorsi) as hard as you can.
Near the end of the scale of progression is the pull-up:
One of the tougher movements to come to grips with the pull-up is an incredibly powerful motion to put in your toolbox.
I’ll talk more about working towards executing a pull up in a later post.
Have a great week guys.