Bent Over Barbell Rows: 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
V-Bar Pull-Downs: 3 sets x 12 reps
Barbell Shrugs: 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Hyperextensions: 3 sets x 12 reps
Bent Over 2 Dumbbell Row: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Reverse Grip Bent Over Row: 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Close Grip Front Lat Pull-Down: 3 sets x 12 reps
Dumbbell Shrug: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Stiff Legged Good Morning: 3 sets x 12-15 reps
Wide Grip Lat Pull-Down: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Underhand Cable Pull-Downs: 3 sets x 8 reps
Bent Over 2 Dumbbell Row with Palms In: 3 sets x 12 reps
Barbell Shrug Behind the Back: 3 sets x 12 reps
Stiff Legged Barbell Deadlifts: 3 sets x 8 reps
Full Range of Motion Lat Pull-Down: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Close Grip Front Lat Pull-Down: 3 sets x 12 reps
One Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Upright Barbell Rows: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Hyperextensions: 3 sets x 8 reps
Bent Over Barbell Row: 3 sets x 8 reps
V-Bar Pull-Down: 3 sets x 8 reps
One Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Wide Grip Lat Pull-Down: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Barbell Shrug Behind the Back: 3 sets x 8-12 reps
Stiff Legged Good Mornings: 3 sets x 8 reps
Back pain is one of the most common gym woes, and it has the power to not only ruin your workout, but make every part of your day difficult if you aren’t careful.
Luckily, knowing the common causes of back pain can give you a good idea of what not to do in the weight room.
Here’s a look at how to avoid hurting your back in the gym.
Poor form in general
Good form isn’t just a way of targeting the right muscles; it’s also key to keeping your body in proper alignment and reducing the risk of injury.
When performing a deadlift, for example, you should maintain a flat back, and aggressively tense your core muscles during the lift to provide protection against the shearing forces exerted by the weight. Failure to do so will massively increase your risk of a back injury. If you're ever unsure about your form don't hesitate to ask a personal trainer at your gym.
Training to complete failure
A lot of bodybuilding gurus will tell you that you need to train to the point of absolute failure, and then squeeze out a few more cheat reps as well, in order to get the most out of your workout.
Tellingly enough, some of the biggest advocates of this training style, including six-time Mr Olympia Dorian Yates, find themselves riddled with serious injuries in later life.
Training to complete failure means that your form will falter sooner or later, and your joints will absorb a lot of extra stress as your muscles give out. Judge how much you can push yourself wisely and try not to push past your limits to reduce your risk of back injury.
Unaddressed muscle imbalances
A lot of ‘back problems’ don’t really originate in the back at all but are the result of muscle imbalances in other areas of the body.
Weak glutes are a major cause of lower back pain, as good glute activation is essential for reaching full flexion at the top of various movements, including the squat and deadlift.
When our glutes fail to do the work, some other part of the body will have to compensate and will likely become strained in the process. Typically, this means the back.
If you have recurring back pain, it could be well worth your time to arrange a consultation with a sports physiotherapist so that they can identify these weak areas and imbalances in your physique and help you to correct them.
A bulging/herniated disc
Herniated discs are a very common injury, with plenty of regular lifters experiencing this condition at some point in their lives.
Contrary to popular belief, herniated discs typically don’t require surgery to correct, but rather, the right rehabilitative exercises.
The right rehabilitative exercises are NOT exercises which involve forward bending of the spine, such as in knee-hugs and toe-touches. This will only cause the disc to bulge even more.
Instead, the first rehabilitative exercise should be to decompress your spine by hanging off a pullup bar — preferably with your toes touching the ground, to allow the lower back to relax properly into the stretch.
Next, work on resetting the disc by performing a yoga cobra pose, and hyperextending your back in a controlled stretch.
Gluteus Medius imbalances
The gluteus medius is a muscle that sits on the outer side of the pelvis, beneath other muscles.
The jobs of the gluteus medius are to enable you to lift your hip and out to the side, and also to keep your pelvis level and aligned as you walk.
When imbalances develop in the gluteus medius, it often manifests as lower back pain which shoots down into the hip.
This pain frequently develops when you have an unequal weight distribution over your hips when doing exercises like the squat. This could be because of bad barbell positioning, but it could also be because your hips are misaligned, and your own bodyweight naturally shifts more to one side.
To address gluteus medius imbalances, you can do various exercises, including what Athlean-X physical therapist Jeff Cavaliere calls “sack swingers”.
This exercise involves wearing a dipping belt with a weight suspended between your legs and walking around slowly and deliberately to force the muscles to engage and stabilise the hips.
Foam rolling your lower back
If you have back pain and you’re not sure what’s causing it, foam rolling your lower back is probably not a good idea. This is because your lower back lacks the rigid supportive bone structure of your upper back, so there’s little to stop a foam roller from causing damage to already inflamed or harmed tissue.
Focus, instead, on exercises you can control more fully.
Training through the pain
“Training through the pain” is generally one of the worst ideas when it comes to lower back pain, and dealing with injuries in general.
If your lower back is killing you, it doesn’t need more strain to get better. It needs time out of the gym, a possible consultation with a physiotherapist, and gentle rehab exercises only.
For a doctor-approved solution to lower back click the banner below:
Article credit: PureGym.com
Published: May 6th 2020
Listen, it’s not what you think. I’m not going to tell you about a new technique to try or costly special equipment or even some underground secret training program.
It really has to do with one simple but life-changing thing: UNLOCKING your tight hips.
I was blown away by what I’m about to share with you and so let me explain.
The ‘power zone’ as I like to call it lies at the center of the human body. Sure, the arms and legs are super important for any person or elite athlete, but the source of true power resides within the hips.
Talk to any coach or trainer the world over and they will agree with this simple assessment: All athletes from hockey to football, baseball to tennis, soccer to powerlifting rely on the explosiveness that their hips and glutes possess.
Without the ability to bend, jump, twist, dive, run or move effectively, an athlete is dead in their tracks, literally.
Some might say speed, power or even strength, but the answer is actually much simpler than that. I’m talking about the athletic position or ready position found in most sports.
Imagine for a moment the linebacker in football, the shortstop in baseball, the goalie in hockey or the powerlifter on the platform and how their body looks. They all stand ready in a position of strength to either tackle someone, catch a ground ball, stop a puck or lift maximum weight.
For example, what does the powerlifter do just before the squat or deadlift? They move into a strong, athletic position as they mentally connect to every muscle in their body so that they can create as much power and force on the bar as possible.
None of them would ever stand casually in an upright position seconds before having to perform. Why is that? Because they would not be able to generate ANY power from that position.
An athlete in almost any sport will stand with feet shoulder-width (or wider) apart, knees flexed, butt back and torso tilted forward. They are balanced, grounded, strong and ready for anything that comes towards them.
From this position, anyone can react quickly, explosively and with tremendous power. If at any time the muscles in the hip area are compromised, athletic performance is undoubtedly affected and not in a good way.
When it comes to acceleration and speed, the hips are at the epicenter of power. Even though the squat or deadlift with maximum weight may not look very fast, the lifter is telling their body to move as fast as they can to move the load.
So when I assessed how much I sat every day on the computer and realized even though I train hard 5 days per week in the gym, my hips were in terrible condition. And knowing how critical the hips are when it comes to generating ultimate power, it was time to seek out a professional who could help me out.
After discussing this issue with Injury Specialist Rick Kaselj, I knew that if I could lengthen my hip flexors and undo all of that damage from sitting so much over the years, I could become more explosive and lift more weight.
Rick came to our facility and put me through a series of movement patterns and exercises. In only 15 minutes I had done not just static stretching (like most warm-up programs) but proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), dynamic stretching, 3-dimensional core stability exercises, mobility exercises, fascia stretching and even some muscle activation movements.
Immediately after performing all of these exercises, I felt READY. Ready to move. Ready to lift. I truly felt more powerful and energized than I had in years.
So what did I do? I went ahead and did some deadlifting. I literally added 35 lbs to my max lift after only doing this routine once. My hips were awake. The circulation through my ‘power zone’ was flowing and I felt incredible.
I know this sounds too good to be true but it is absolutely a night and day difference. Granted, this routine would need to be practiced daily for the results to continue but I couldn’t argue with the immediate results of this 15 minute routine.
By UNLOCKING my tight hips, I was able to perform at my best and instantly gain strength in my lifts.
Rick's program is called Unlock Your Hip Flexors and if you do any kind of explosive lifting it can definitely add pounds to your max without changing anything else.
Published: May 5th 2020
Did you know that sitting is the enemy in your quest to discover peak health because of the wide-ranging impact it causes to your most vital muscle?
Sitting may seem like a harmless activity but it actually has some serious dangers to our health.
Now that you know you can do something about it.
You’ve probably tried a number of exercises before and found yourself wasting hours of your time stretching only to find that it only provides minimal effect.
There are several specific movements beyond simple static stretching that you can use to unlock and loosen up your hips, legs and back.
Take a look at the pictures below. Which do you think is the best exercise?
Take a guess above and check if you are correct.
Plus, on the next page, you will discover the 3 ways that sitting is killing your physical and emotional health.
Were you able to guess it right?
Published: 8 Dec 2019
The sumo deadlift is an adaptation of the conventional deadlift. It happens to be a little more technical than others so learning may take some time. The few subtle changes causing the exercise to have different muscular benefits help this deadlift to be a bit easier, however. Just what muscles do sumo deadlifts work, you ask? Well, I will be answering that, and some other frequently asked questions soon.
The conventional deadlift is pretty straightforward. Stand with your legs shoulder length apart and keep your back straight while leaning down and while lifting it. That is, of course, is not a very detailed explanation, but it is the main idea. We will be going into a lot more detail about the sumo deadlift later.
First off, we need to start with the basics. What exactly is the sumo deadlift? It is just a little different than the conventional. While lifting conventionally, you put a certain emphasis on various parts of your body by standing a specific way. The bar is raised differently than it is with the sumo type, and how high the bar can be lifted is directly affected by this.
The sumo version of deadlifting is ideal for beginners. This is because there is less stress put on the back. Starting in a squatting position makes it easier as well. The lower stance allows for people with poor mobility to deadlift too. This type of deadlift is used by individuals trying to improve their strength or by some experts just trying to add more to their exercise routine.
Sumo deadlifting is accepted in powerlifting competitions and even the Olympics. Strongmen competitions are different, however. The sumo styles ease of use and the ability to lift more weight disqualifies it. If you are wondering what type of deadlifting is for you, I will walk you through figuring it out, at least when it comes to the sumo lift.
At first, you need to evaluate your exercise routine and see what fits. All of the types of lifting have different focuses and determining your weaknesses will probably be a good start. What are your reasons for going into deadlifting? If your answer has to do with building up your strength, then this is a good start. Conventional deadlifting is better for reps, which are not as easy while lifting sumo.
You do not want to confuse your body with too many various workouts. Choose the main idea to bring to fulfillment and go with it. Having clear goals helps with decision making. Also, you want to ensure that your body is flexible enough for this stance. You are going to need to at least need the flexibility to pick up the bar without letting your knees buckle or anything like that.
Body type can also help dictate what method is best for you. For the sumo deadlift, your short torso and long arms go a long way. If you are a hasty type of person who likes to grab the bar and lift, this particular deadlift style may not be for you. It requires careful, slow, and steady movements.
There are many advantages to deadlifting itself, let alone doing it the sumo way. I will answer the previous question: what muscles do sumo deadlifts work? This deadlift version works the same muscles as the conventional but has a new emphasis on a particular group of muscles - the quadriceps. Not only does it give your lower back a little rest, but it also targets your quadriceps and increases activity there. The backs of your lower legs will be your best friends after this exercise.
The distance you lift the bar is also a little shorter and easier than the conventional. It is even sometimes easier to teach and learn as a beginner. Keeping the spine straight is not as hard either.
If the standard style is painful because you are always hitting your knees, go no further. The space between your legs and the bar is more generous, and the path it takes is much shorter. This concept applies to the sumo deadlift in general. It is easier to learn, to pick up, and better for beginners. You just want to make sure it really is for you. Go over your reasons and goals, then decide if you want to try. I suggest that nonetheless. Trying something new in your routine is good every once in a while. Remember to keep an open mind and be willing to try other types of deadlifts to find the one for you.
1. Build Up
Make sure that you are going to lift weights you know you can handle. When starting out it is best to do this to prevent any injury. Knowing the way that you are most comfortable picking up the bar is important too. Whether you use an alternating grip or the standard, be prepared to use it and properly. The technique is especially crucial with the sumo deadlift.
Do not go into this thinking that you will be better at one style over the other. This may be true, but avoiding a type because this is not recommended. You can build up the weaknesses that are found when trying different methods.
You may also want to do somebody stretches to loosen up. When you are physically and mentally prepared, approach the deadlift bar and get into position.
2. Body Position
The position you want to stand and lift the bar is the reason for the name ‘sumo’. With your legs far apart ensure that the middle of your feet matches up to the bar. Do not spread your legs too wide, or you will risk your legs locking, making it harder to retrieve the bar.
Also, make sure your toes are pointed outward and your feet are past the rings on the bar itself. The more inward your toes point, the harder it may be on your hips. Bend at the hips and straighten out your arms, staying below and in line with your shoulders. Using whichever lift that grip you are most comfortable with, grasp the bar and begin the ascent.
3. Bringing it Up
Take a good breath, lower your hips more, and keep your head facing forward. Distribute the weight to the backs of your feet. Spread the floor with your feet and extend your body with your hips. When the bar meets up with your hips, lean back while pulling your shoulder blades together and drive your hips into the bar. This brings you to the height of the lift, and all that is left is the descent.
4. Back to the Ground
Using your hips, bend back down and slowly place the bar on the floor. Keep the weight steady on the way down and, voila! You have completed your first sumo deadlift. Your hips and quadriceps will appreciate the extra attention. Your back leg muscles get less attention than they do with the conventional deadlift. However, the glutes, hamstrings, and tour adductor muscles get the same amount of care with both types of deadlifting.
5. Bring it On… Again
You probably want to more than just one lift, right? That’s cool. Just make sure to completely place the bar back on the ground after each lift. If you do not, it is not actually deadlifting.
You will have to mix it up, by doing only one type of deadlift can overdevelop muscles and put unneeded strain on the body. It also does not have much carry over when it comes to training for other sports or lifting competitions.
If you are training for this type of lift specifically, you may still want to throw in some conventional lifts here and there, to balance your muscular composure. The Olympics accept this version as do powerlifting competitions. The only athletic institution you may run into problems with this style is at a strongman competition. Besides, strongman competitions are supposed to be a bit stricter when it comes to regulating the types of lifts allowed.
Deadlifting is an amazing way to increase your fitness. With so many different types, it can be overwhelming when choosing one to do. The sumo deadlift and the Romanian deadlift seems to be the best ones for beginners. The sumo deadlift is relatively straightforward, having a practical and helpful reference to sumo wrestlers.
This weight training exercise is suitable for most people. Since each individual person has their own needs, finding the one that’s right for you may take some time. Patience and willingness to try new things is a must.
What is your favorite way to deadlift? Has the sumo deadlift helped you in your athletic endeavors? Let me know in the comments what you think!
Written by Elsie Doss
Deadlifts are a prime mass-building exercise...no doubt about it! But if you’ve been doing them awhile, it might be time to try a few different training techniques to start a whole new growth spurt... These will definitely kick your butt!
One of my favorite techniques for deadlifts is also one of the most grueling (surprise!). It's called Continuous Tension Deadlifting - you may have encountered it or tried it before but now's a great time to revisit it! If you want to build overall body mass (and most specifically back mass), this version of the deadlift is a great one.
It's simple...you do a set of deadlifts without EVER touching the barbell plates back onto the ground. I first used this one quite a few years ago out of necessity - I almost got evicted from a gym I was training at in Ft. Lauderdale that was located on the second floor of a building! When I was setting the weights down, the owner was worried I was going to put the barbell through the floor!
So rather than give up on deadlifting while training there, I decided to just not set the bar down until I was done with each set (and set it down very softly at the end of the set). The owner let me do THAT at least!
It's not a NEW exercise, per se, but it IS a great training technique that can really help you mass up your whole body. Just be VERY tight with your form at the bottom of the reps.
You start like a regular deadlift, pulling the bar from the ground to the top. But as you come down, instead of setting the barbell back down on the ground, you instead reverse the direction just before the plates touch and come back up.
Your body gets NO break at the bottom, as you normally do in a deadlift where you set the bar down. This keeps HUGE tension on the entire body. It's just brutal, especially on the change of direction. You have to not only stop the downward momentum of the bar, you have to reverse it and bring it back up again!
This not only keeps great tension on the body but builds excellent strength off the bottom. Just overcoming gravity isn't nearly as hard as reversing AND overcoming it again in one movement! When you're coming down to the bottom of the movement and reversing direction, hold your breath very briefly to stabilize the core more strongly. The moment you reverse direction successfully, breathe out again (through pursed lips, to maintain that core stability). When you do this exercise, reduce the weight you would normally use. The continuous tension is an eye-opener!
If just the very NAME of this one doesn't make you both dread it and get excited about it at the same time... High-rep deadlifts are a GREAT way to send your metabolism through the roof. Sometimes, when I'm feeling energetic, I'll just pop 225 lbs on the bar and rep out with as many reps as I can get. I've hit as high as 40 reps with it.
This is a basic straight-up deadlift done for as many reps as you can. For me, this weight is about 40% of my 1 RM. You can pick anything that's around 40 to 50% and you should be able to hit a good number of reps with it.
If you've always stuck to lower rep ranges in the deadlift, this one will be an eye-opener for you. Keep a fairly brisk pace. I found for much of the set, I wasn't even setting the bar down in between reps but just grazing the floor and coming right back up.
Now just crank out as many as possible. Towards the end, I stop for a few seconds to try and catch a little breath but that only gets me a couple of more reps.
If you like deadlifts and are comfortable with them, give this a try. It's not so comfortable by the time you're done... One set of these is all you need - don't save ANYTHING in this set...you're not going to be doing any more high-rep deadlifts sets after so you've got no reason to hold back.
Just be tight with form from start to finish - don't let it get sloppy - reps with bad form don't count.
Basically, you're going to take a weight that allows you to get about 4 to 6 reps on the Stiff Legged Deadlift. Then you're going to do those reps on the SLDL (stiff legged deadlift). Then you will IMMEDIATELY continue with the same weight on regular deadlifts.
Just keeping until you've had enough. If you like a challenge, you'll love this one!
One quick note with the Stiff Legged Deadlifts, I recommend you set the bar down on the floor in between reps. This is much better on the back when you're using heavier weights because it allows you to reset your spine and the support muscles of the core with each rep. If you've never tried that before, you'll notice a BIG difference. When you keep the bar off the ground, you can't reset and it'll gradually fatigue your supports muscles and round out your lower back.
Works WAY better with heaver weight with no deleterious effects on hamstring stimulation.
So get between 4 and 6 reps on the SLDL. Then immediately pick it up with regular deadlifts:
So finish with as many deadlifts as you can get (keep the do-or-die rep in you, though). This combo is tough enough on its own!
Written by Nick Nilsson
One of the most effective ways to stimulate the growth of rock hard muscle in any part of the body is to totally fatigue that muscle group. It is not enough to simply fatigue a muscle group but the key to growth is the ability to utilize as many different stimuli as possible in order to achieve this goal. If it only took one or two exercises per workout session to spark growth then training the back and biceps would be simple. In that scenario you would grow thick sweeping lats and arms with peaks reminiscent of the ski slopes in Aspen with three sets of one armed Bent over Rows, lat pulls, alternating bicep curls and preacher curls for the biceps. The fact of the matter is that muscle needs to be stimulated from many angles and in many ways to optimize growth. Compound setting enables you to fit in as many exercises for a single body part as you can in each exercise bout.
Many people utilize super sets to maximize the amount of body parts that they can train during a workout session. As you may already know super setting is the pairing up 2 exercises or more that work opposing muscle groups. Compound setting is pairing two or more exercises that target the same muscle groups. Compound setting is founded on similar principals to super setting. The difference lies in the muscles targeted in the second exercise. The second exercise should target the same muscle group. What this does is to further recruit muscle fibers that may not get recruited from different angles. Compounding the muscle fiber recruitment in a given area will further fatigue that area causing more damage and later on more physiological changes (Growth). Compound setting also allows for you to accomplish more exercises for a certain body part in a shorter period of time.
Due to the fact that compound setting adds to the length of each particular set the muscle group will be totally decimated after only 4-6 sets. This type of training will increase your muscular endurance as well. Each muscle in your body has a certain composition of either (Type 1(muscular endurance) or type 2b (power & strength) muscle fibers. Compound setting with a moderate to heavy weight targets both fiber types, thoroughly fatiguing the muscle. This also promotes maximal muscle growth and stokes your metabolism.
When choosing weights to begin compound setting, choose weights that you consider to be only moderately intense until you are familiar with compound setting. Pick a weight that you know you can usually manage for 3 sets of 12 but not 3 sets of 15. While compound setting you may only be able to complete 8-10 reps by the 3rd set. Try to use the same poundage through the entire workout. For instance, let’s take a look at the back.
First choose exercises that complement each other. For example it would be good to use two exercises that work completely different parts of the back. I will choose Lat pulls and cable reverse flies. Lat pulls will target the lats and bi’s the reverse flies will target the rhomboids and rear delts. Complete one set of lat pulls and immediately without rest complete a set of the reverse flies. The completion of both exercise sets equals 1full compound set. Rest for 30-90seconds and repeat 3 more times. Choose up to two more pairs of exercises for the back taking care to choose different areas of the back with each exercise. That will amount to 24 sets in total. Because of how the workout is structured you should complete this routine in less than 40-45 minutes. You can then do the same thing to the biceps in the next 10-15 mins. You should only use 2 compound sets (4exercises for 4 sets), as they are totally pre-fatigued. A great combo to hit is seated incline dumbbell curls and standing cable curls. If you find that you cannot finish a set please stop for a couple of seconds and complete the number that you have allotted. If you can stand the fire that will ignite in both your back and biceps and remain true to the short breaks you will feel a pump like no other workout! Build your better body with compounding one set at a time.
Beginners Compound Set Sample routine Back and Bi Day:
Hyper Extensions 4 sets X 10 reps X lbs ?
Bent Over Rows 4 sets X 10 reps X lbs?
Finish both exercises together, rest only 30 - 90 secs and move to the next set… try your best not to drop weight each set. Complete all 4 sets and move to the next set.
Seated Row 4 sets X 10 reps X lbs?
Dumbbell Pullovers 4 sets X 10 reps X lbs?
Burnout set to be done right after the last bicep set… 25 pull-ups
Hammer Curls 4 sets X10 sets Xlbs?.
Reverse Curls 4 sets X10sets Xlbs?
30 secs between sets
Written By Dre Farnell