How To Build A Muscular Back (Part 1)

November 6, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

It’s the weekend people, and although it is the end of a working week for most of you, I will introduce a 3-part series of how to develop your back muscles to look like your favorite super hero.

My back muscles never did look too great to begin with and I simply hated that, as i already had a small waist. In general, a small waist is something that most of you will want (but might not have). The reason for wanting a small waist is because when you do develop a wide back, it will give you that cartoon super hero body builder look and that is the type of body that will stand out regardless of what you wear. But I had a double negative.

  • A small back
  • A small waist

= Double negative

Which meant that I looked like a scrawny puny tall Mr. nothing. However, that is a great base to build muscle up from, is what I began to do and is what I will share with you on how you can do the same.

In this 3 part series we will cover:

  1. The four main muscles groups of your back
  2. How to develop each one
  3. The exercises
  4. The weightlifting routines for your back

Today I will describe and break down the function of all four muscles in your back.

The back muscles are located on the posterior part of the torso and their function is to draw the arms back and downward. It is composed of four main muscle groups:

The Latissimus Dorsi

Located right under your armpits and stretches down attaching to the waist. Their function is to bring your arms down and backward.

The Teres Major/Minor And Rhomboids

Attaches to your lats around the shoulder blade area and are involved in moving and stabilizing your shoulder blades, as well as helping your lats move the arms.

The Trapezius (Traps)

Located on the base of your neck and extends themselves down to the center of your back. Lifting and rotating the shoulders is their main function.

The Spinal Erectors

Located at the back of your waist at the lumbar region and are attached to the vertebrae, the ribs and the pelvis. Their function is to provide posture and support to your spine.

Those are the main muscles that make up your back. But stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow where I’ll talk about the exercises that you can do to build up each of these muscles.

See you in the comments.

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The Super Hero Workout – The Weightlifting Exercises (Part 4)

October 23, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

This is the fourth and final day of the super hero workout  – the weightlifting exercises. How ever, if I do get to speak to any of these super heroes in person anytime soon, I’ll be sure to find out their super hero weightlifting workout routines for you.

There have been a few articles where I talk about the correct way to lift weights for building muscle fast, such as the high metabolism workout. The best way to lift weights is with an explosive movement, because that is when the muscles begin to work the most. To perform those explosive movements effectively you will need flexibly, quick reflexes and of course, explosive strength.

Although Venom is one of my favourite marvel comic super heroes, Spiderman is the one that would best represent these attributes.

So how can you develop speed, agility and explosive strength like Spiderman?

There are a few ways, but these next few exercises will be good start. All of which will improve your explosive speed and strength during your weightlifting workout routines and your cardio training routines.

The Box Jump

This is all about training the muscle memory in your legs. Do this exercise enough and you’ll find yourself performing quick foot movements during your every day actions such as walking up stairs or climbing ladders.

  • Set up a box or aerobics step in front of you, high enough to be challenging, but low enough to be safe
  • Then bend your hips and knees to gather momentum
  • Explosively jump onto the box and hold for a second
  • Step off the box.
  • That represents one set

Perform six sets of three reps, resting 60 seconds between sets.

You could also perform these on your house steps if you can’t find a box.

Slalom Rope Skips

Skipping is a classic way to increase the responsiveness of the movements in your legs and performing slalom skips will help you do just that.

  • Stand with your feet together holding a jump rope, and imagine a line beneath your feet. Begin the skip rope while simultaneously jumping side to side, back and forth over the line, as quickly as possible, keeping your feet together.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

Perform five to six sets, resting 30-60 seconds between each set before lifting.

Pro-Agility Shuttle

When I was at school, they would call this exercise the beep test, and it will most likely deceive you the first time that you perform it. The Pro-Agility Shuttle is like the shortened version of the beep test.

Here’s how you can do the shuttle run.

  • Find a field or court with a lined surface, or set up cones to act in place of lines.
  • You need three lines spaced five yards apart from each other.
  • Straddle the middle line, get into a three-point stance, and place one hand on the ground. Now turn and sprint five yards to your left and touch the left-most line with your left hand.
  • Then turn and run 10 yards to your right and touch the right-most line with your right hand.
  • Finally, turn and sprint back five yards to the line you started at.
  • That’s one shuttle.

Perform six to eight shuttles, resting 60-90 seconds between each. Begin each shuttle by running in a different direction than you did in the previous one.

For example
In your second shuttle, start by sprinting to the right.

This will test your reflexes and endurance, and will beat the crap out of you when it does. Keep that in mind and you won’t have me on your back telling you I told you so.

This can all be a part of your cardio workout routine, and if you stick at these exercises, within a couple months, you’ll find yourself bouncing around just like Spiderman.

See you in the comments.

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