I had a fantastic back & traps workout last night! It was time to switch things around again, and I decided to add deads back into the mix since my back has been feeling very good lately.
I started off with 4 sets of wide-grip lat pull-downs. Even though I can physically do wide-grip pull-ups, I’ve found that by lightening the load (doing lat pull-downs instead of body weight pull-ups) I am better able to isolate my lats. Sure, I can do wide-grip pull-ups, but to do them I recruit too much bicep; that is not what I want! By putting my ego aside and focusing on just my lats to perform the lift, I’ve seen much better development in that area. Another trick that’s helped me with my lat development is the incorporation of lifting straps into my lat pull-down sets. When you perform a wide-grip pull-up or pull-down, you want to just hook the bar with your fingers, and focus on using your lats to pull the weight down – not your arms. With lifting straps, getting the proper “hook” grip is much easier. My final bit of advice on pull-downs is to really squeeze the shoulder blades together for a second or two between the concentric and eccentric phases of the movement.
My second exercise was bent over barbell rows. This is a great mid-back exercise, and I love doing it. Next I was going to do T-Bar rows, but instead I decided to do close-grip low cable rows. After that, I did 4 sets of deads using moderate weight. This morning my back feels fine, so next week I’ll be bumping the weight up on my deads quite a bit.
I’ve got to get moving – cardio, then meetings downtown. Have a great day!