Tuesday

Back & Cardio

Lat Pull Down

Sit down on a pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. Make sure that you adjust the knee pad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar.

Grab the bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip. Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.

As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.

As you breathe out, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar; therefore do not try to pull down the bar using the forearms.

After a second at the contracted position squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched. Inhale during this portion of the movement.

Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Variations: The behind the neck variation is not recommended as it can be hard on the rotator cuff due to the hyperextension created by bringing the bar behind the neck.

Machine Low Pull

Sit on a low pulley row machine with a rope attachment.

Grab the ends of the rope using a palms-down grip and sit with your back straight and your knees slightly bent. Tip: Keep your back almost completely vertical and your arms fully extended in front of you. This will be your starting position.

While keeping your torso stationary, lift your elbows and start bending them as you pull the rope towards your neck while exhaling. Throughout the movement your upper arms should remain parallel to the floor. Tip: Continue this motion until your hands are almost next to your ears (the forearms will not be parallel to the floor at the end of the movement as they will be angled a bit upwards) and your elbows are out away from your sides.

After holding for a second or so at the contracted position, come back slowly to the starting position as you inhale. Tip: Again, during no part of the movement should the torso move.

Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variation: You can use a straight bar attachment as well or a bench and exercise bands.

Straight Arm Pulldowns

You will start by grabbing the wide bar from the top pulley of a pulldown machine and using a wider than shoulder-width pronated (palms down) grip. Step backwards two feet or so.

Bend your torso forward at the waist by around 30-degrees with your arms fully extended in front of you and a slight bend at the elbows. If your arms are not fully extended then you need to step a bit more backwards until they are. Once your arms are fully extended and your torso is slightly bent at the waist, tighten the lats and then you are ready to begin.

While keeping the arms straight, pull the bar down by contracting the lats until your hands are next to the side of the thighs. Breathe out as you perform this step.

While keeping the arms straight, go back to the starting position while breathing in.

Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: Can also be performed with a shorter shoulder-width straight bar or with a rope attachment.

Bent Over Row

Choose a flat bench and place a dumbbell on each side of it.

Place the right leg on top of the end of the bench, bend your torso forward from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor, and place your right hand on the other end of the bench for support.

Use the left hand to pick up the dumbbell on the floor and hold the weight while keeping your lower back straight. The palm of the hand should be facing your torso. This will be your starting position.

Pull the resistance straight up to the side of your chest, keeping your upper arm close to your side and keeping the torso stationary. Breathe out as you perform this step. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. Also, make sure that the force is performed with the back muscles and not the arms. Finally, the upper torso should remain stationary and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the dumbbell; therefore do not try to pull the dumbbell up using the forearms.

Lower the resistance straight down to the starting position. Breathe in as you perform this step.

Repeat the movement for the specified amount of repetitions.

Switch sides and repeat again with the other arm.

Variations: One-arm rows can also be performed using a high pulley or a low pulley instead of a dumbbell.

TRX Row

Suspend your straps at around chest height. Take a handle in each hand and lean back. Keep your body erect and your head and chest up. Your arms should be fully extended. This will be your starting position.

Begin by flexing the elbow to initiate the movement. Protract your shoulder blades as you do so.

At the completion of the motion pause, and then return to the starting position.

Sitting Crunch Machine

Seat on a flat bench with your back facing a high pulley.

Grasp the cable rope attachment with both hands (with the palms of the hands facing each other) and place your hands securely over both shoulders. Tip: Allow the weight to hyperextend the lower back slightly. This will be your starting position.

With the hips stationary, flex the waist so the elbows travel toward the hips. Breathe out as you perform this step.

As you inhale, go back to the initial position slowly.

Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variation: Exercise bands can be used for this exercise.

Alternating Heel Touches

Lie on the floor with the knees bent and the feet on the floor around 18-24 inches apart. Your arms should be extended by your side. This will be your starting position.

Crunch over your torso forward and up about 3-4 inches to the right side and touch your right heel as you hold the contraction for a second. Exhale while performing this movement.

Now go back slowly to the starting position as you inhale.

Now crunch over your torso forward and up around 3-4 inches to the left side and touch your left heel as you hold the contraction for a second. Exhale while performing this movement and then go back to the starting position as you inhale. Now that both heels have been touched, that is considered 1 repetition.

Continue alternating sides in this manner until all prescribed repetitions are done.

Variations: None

Treadmill

15 minutes before and after workout.
3.5 speed
15.0 incline
5 minute cooldown

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