Back Workout (7) – Inverted Row

Lots of you guys maybe just getting started out with your fitness training, and doing pull up seems like an absolute impossible task. 80% of the population that just getting started weight training probably can’t do one either, so don’t beat yourself up too much.

So what’s the deal with the inverted row? You may have read about the barbell row, or the one-hand dumbbell row from this blog or you may have read it somewhere else. But what the hell is Inverted Row? Some people refer inverted row as the reverse bench-press because of its starting position is similar to bench press but instead of pressing the weight, you pull your body up.

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Back Workout (6) – Wide Grip Lat Pulldown

lat-pulldownMany variation of grip is possible with lat pull down machine, such as narrow under-grip, reverse-grip, and parallel grip handle. Changing your grip makes difference to muscle activation during the lat pulldown. It is a compound exercise which uses your large portion of back and biceps.

As the name itself suggests, the lat pulldown has as its primary target the latissimus dorsi.  This is the large fan shaped muscle that takes up an exceedingly large portion of the back.  While the midback is involved somewhat in the pulldown movement (depending heavily on how it’s done), the vertical line of pull tends to take the midback muscles out of the movement.

Since the arms are involved and there is bending at the elbow, of course the various elbow flexors, the biceps and brachialis, are also involved.  Much of which is involved and to what degree depends on the grip used.

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Diet and Sleep, Are They Connected?

For years your doctor, your mom and your friend who goes to the gym multiple times a week have probably been telling you to eat better and exercise more. So you’ve made some lifestyle changes; cutting back fat and sweet intakes and doing some cardiovascular exercise a few days a week. Despite all this, you still feel burned out, can’t drop those extra few pounds, and don’t have the energy to greet each day with enthusiasm. What are we missing here?

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Dining Out – The Smart Way

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While most of us are conscious of what we eat at home, eating out can be a totally different story. To effectively manage your weight and to maintain your energy levels, try following this 8 simple steps.

  1. H2O is the go

Being dehydrated is often the cause of what we think are hunger pains. Every time you feel hungry, have a glass of water first. If you still feel hungry ten minutes later then eat something. Drinking two glasses of water before you go out for a meal will decrease your appetite, helping you make better food choices.

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Are You Starving Yourself?

Restricting food intake has long been considered an effective way to lose weight. But when you starve, you are actually conditioning your body to gain weight. How come when you only eat one meal a day, skip meals, or hardly eat any calories you still don’t lose weight and continue to put on body fat? Well, your body is smart and it has learnt through evolution that when there is no food it has to go into a storing mode. Your body thinks it’s starving so when meals are skipped your body releases fat-storing lipogenic enzymes and decreases the number of lipolytic fat-burning enzymes.

Another important factor in losing fat is controlling your blood sugar levels. If blood sugar drops (hypoglycemia) for extended periods of time you release glucoccorticoids (stress hormones including cortisol and adrenaline). These hormones trigger the release of glycogen from the liver to increase blood sugar to prevent the brain from going into a coma. If you continue to not eat (to stabilise blood sugar), cortisol will continue to be released and your body will begin gluconeogenesis. Cortisol breaks down protein stores (your lean muscle) in order to elevate your blood sugar. Exposure to excessive cortisol over time kills brain cells and increases the rate of ageing.

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Back Workout (5) – Seated Cable Row

If getting scuplted back is one of your fitness goals, you need to include seated cable rows in your workout routine. Cable row is also good to develop thickness of your middle back area.

This exercise targets the middle back while also involving biceps, lats, and shoulders. It is done on a low cable machine with a flat bench attached and foot plates to set your feet on.

seated cable rows

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Back Workout (4) – Bent Over Barbell Row

If you want to add a lot of thickness and detail to your back, you definitely need Barbell Row. This exercise is a great compound movement which incorporates lats, shoulders, traps, middle back, as well as your biceps. Try to minimize the biceps movement as you do this exercise as the biceps are the weakest muscle in the chain.

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