As you know from my last post, if you desire to be ultra fit and strong you will want to train movement. Training with isolated moves is not the way to go, unless you are a body builder. Isolation in the simplest way that I can put it will only hypertrophy (make big) the muscle you are working and does not help you in life. So we choose to train movements, training movements leads to a better quality of a workout and burns way more calories than an isolated exercise. Btw, there are really few exercises that are completely isolated any way.

It is funny how isolation how messed up lifting, I once heard a person say that they trained hamstrings in a session. Talk about overkill to a part of the body and causing all kinds of movement dysfunction. Functional anatomy teaches us that things are made to work together in order to accomplish a movement. For example, right now there are many muscles firing in my forearms, hands, and even upper arms to get this post written. No wonder I get so tired from writing! J/k

However I think I have argued my point enough so I digress. We can now move on into the “meat” of today’s post which is the upper pull.  Pulling motions are what we think of as back exercises but again, we train movements not muscle. Although the back muscle should be the prime movers in these motions, there so many more muscles trained such as (but limited to) abs and forearms.

The pull up:- The pull up is one of the ultimate upper body exercises, this movement is so great for the lats, rear delts, biceps abs and even legs. It and it’s variations are tremendous for building strength and grip. The execution should be done as follows Grip the bar with a supinated ( palms out) or prone grip (palms down) This only matters to the extent of what you wan to train more in your pattern. The supinated grip will hit chest (Pecs) and biceps more and prone the lower trapezius and infraspinitus ( rotator cuff). So use this information to decide what you want to train in the realm of your goals.

Once you have chosen your grip and you have grabbed the bar, breath in deeply brace your abs ( as if you are getting punched) and pull the handle towards you or your elbows in to your ribs. (whatever cue helps you) Make sure that you are using your Lats and not your arms to do the movement. Be sure you don’t use your legs to swing or create momentum(kip) remember it is a pull up not a swing up! So you must actively pull, then lower your self under control back to a dead position using your triceps on the bottom to protect your elbows.  Be aware of your shoulders do not let them get pulled out of their socket on the bottom, keep them packed. (if you don’t know how to read last week’s post on the press boxer114@wordpress training movement(the press). As with any other move make sure your mobility and stability is adequate to perform this awesome move safely.

Now we will discuss the row or horizontal pull,- this is another upper body pull from direction and is useful for training the rhomboids as well as the lats. This movement is accomplished by the same mechanics as the pull up. This movement can be a beginners way to build some strength relative to the pullup, especially if you are doing them on a smith machine bar or a trx. Just make sure as with the pushup that your whole body is moving together on the negative and concentric parts of the exercise.

Upper body pulling can be a great way to get strong and burn some calories at the same time. Remember though that, you must progress into and out of the movement intelligently. You cannot cheat at getting stronger and fitter,  you will just end up with a crappy looking exercise that will do more harm then good. When we cheat an exercise it may feel like you are working hard, but you are only creating extra body heat.  (which the deodorant companies will love!) This is where the old adage comes in work smarter not harder! Stay tuned friends for more on training movements, next week comes everyone’s favorite movement the squat!


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