Friday, January 16, 2015

Training reflections: improvement on the pull-up and the Turkish get-up warm up and assesement

I know what most of my weaknesses are and they are probably similar to most gym rats who workout regularly.

I am all front and no back and legs. Yup despite being the weak bitch that I am, I'm still over developed in the chest, biceps, rectus abdominals, and front delts. I have tight scalenes a weak upper and lower back, glutes and etc. I can get into some of the grittier more specific details, but I spent most of my life lifting heavy and only thinking about the pretty muscles that give women lady boners.

Like a lot of people I work an office job so I'm already sorta of already in a bad position most of the day as it is and having worked only the front part of my body for almost a decade I've created a very painful situation.

That all aside with chiropractic care, foam rolling and more of an emphasis on working the glutes, low back, upper back, shoulder girdle and etc. I've made some progress.

I've always done pull-ups and they have never been particularly easy for me. Some days I could do about 15 and others 3 seemed nearly impossible. I know that pull-ups are supposed to be one of the best ways to develop the upper back but... for whatever reason I got more of a pump in the arms then I ever did in the back.

It didn't matter what type of pull-up it was: close-grip, neutral grip, supinated or even pronated. If it was a pull-up I was getting more of a bicep and forearm workout then my lats. My lats, were what I need to develop though and any amount of pulling exercise I do I find that my preferably uses the arms to do so.

So, I think I may have solved the problem and perhaps if you are struggling to get lat activation with your pull-ups this could help. When you are near the middle point of your pull-up instead of pulling yourself straight up and down try pulling your hands apart as if you were doing band pulls for the rear delts, scapula, rhomboids and etc.

I was playing around with this technique the other day and found that it really helped me to focus on retracting my shoulder s back and activating the upper back more. I couldn't do too many of these and was only doing sets of three.

Second part of this post is about the Turkish Get-Up. The TGU seems like a pretty challenging exercise although it probably isn't going to turn you into a mass monster like the big three and the Olympic lifts.

Played around with this after reading an article on Breaking Muscle about using a few select exercise to correct movement patters. The TGU was one of the exercises and I can see that when performed slowly it really can show you your weakness but also provide a possible tool to address them.

Doing TGU you are almost always off balance doing this with the exception of maybe the top range of motion. Powering through the TGU is one thing but the magic happens when you do it slowly in control.

I've found my left side is much weaker then my right and problem areas are the initial get-up part where you first start posting with the hand that helps you to move the weight from the top to the bottom. 

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