Q: My gym has an old Nautilus behind-the-neck torso machine for lat work. It feels pretty good to me, better than cable pull-ins because you don’t use biceps. What do you think of it? Should I use it or stick with cable pull-ins? [Read more…]
Q: I have trouble feeling my lats. I’ve tried the cable pull-in, pulldowns, and pullovers. Nothing. I don’t have access to a pullover machine. It looks like the full range would be best for me, as I’m sure the lack of isolation on the others is the problem. Any suggestions?
A: The machine pullover is a full-range move that many bodybuilders feel in their lats, even though the resistance curve is not great… [Read more…]
A few newsletters ago I mentioned the middle traps’ line of pull as it relates to fiber direction—which resulted in a new add-on move for elongation: overhead scapulae retractions. Overhead trap stretch may be a better description… [Read more…]
Middle-trap mass is difficult to build for most trainees—but that may be from not understanding muscle-fiber alignment…
Scapulae retractions are considered the ideal exercise to activate the mid-to-low traps, but a slight adjustment can make it more mass-centric… [Read more…]
There’s controversy surrounding any type of rowing exercise…
Drug-Free Mr. Universe and biomechanics expert Doug Brignole used to say the row is not a good mid-back exercise because the traps don’t connect to the arms—they originate near the shoulder capsule and insert along the spine…
That means the mid-trapezius muscles’ function is to retract, or pull together, the shoulder blades… [Read more…]
Q: I remember that you and Jonathan liked V-handle pull-ups for lats when you were writing for Iron Man. What’s your take on them now? Do you still use them as an add-on exercise? [Read more…]
Q: You mentioned that you use a close-grip row as an add-on for mid-back stretch. What about lats for more back width? I’m guessing pullovers to stretch lats.
A: The two-dumbbell pullover does provide decent lat stretch—and I do include it (see Old Man, Young Muscle workout); however, right after my lat pull-ins, I do under-grip pulldowns. Here’s Jonathan in the finish position using a pulldown machine… [Read more…]
So do rows suck ass for back mass or not? They are not ideal, that’s a biomechanical fact…
The direction of resistance is simply incorrect for both lats and mid-back activation… [Read more…]