Even though I am able to increase weights without compromising form, I rarely feel pressing movements in my chest or pulling movements in my upper back. I don't know if this is bad mind/muscle connection or what, but I have been lifting for a couple years (though only seriously since the end of last year), and I rarely feel exercises in my chest/upper back (particularly chest exercises, as I feel certain lifts in my back). I am currently following a pull/push/legs routine, and the chest/back portions are as follows:
BB Bench 3 x 5
DB Incline Bench 2 x 8
Dips 2 x 8
Flyes 1 x 12
Deadlifts (though that's lower back) 1 x 5
Pull-Ups 3 x 8
DB Rows 2 x 8
Cable Pulldowns (Triangle Attachment) 2 x 8
Face Pulls 1 x 12
As far as chest, dips are probably the exercise I feel the most in my chest (though still not very much, and only in my lower chest), and as far as upper back, the cable pulldowns are what I feel the most (with the pull-ups as the runner-up, but I still feel those too much in my arm). During the back exercises, I really focus on squeezing my shoulder blades, which sometimes seems to help, but I don't really know what the equivalent of this would be for chest (though I do push my shoulders into the bench).
NOTE: I feel other exercises in the desired muscles, but as I said, I struggle with chest/back.
EDIT: I'm not looking for routine critiquing, I just posted the routine to show that I try to hit my body from a variety of angles.
05-05-2010, 09:56 PM #1
Mind/Muscle Contraction On Chest/Back LiftsToday I'll do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't.
05-05-2010, 10:24 PM #2
05-05-2010, 10:49 PM #3
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Tips for Back:
One thing I've found that has helped me with my back moves, was to start the movement with my shoulder blades. On a pull up, squeeze my shoulder blades down and together (which puffs out my chest) and pull my chest to the bar, not my chin over the bar.
On bent over rows, I squeeze my shoulder blades back (again puffs out the chest) and then do the row. Making sure the first part of the move was only my shoulder blades, helped me target my back much more.
** Prolonged use of the starting the move with the scapula held in a retracted position can be detrimental. Here is a link to the article explaining that: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_a...verload_part_1 Anywho, I will say, using that tactic did help me to feel my back more, but after you've successfully developed your mmc, to try to stray from that tactic.**
Also, picture your hands merely as hooks, do not pull with them, pull with your elbow. If you have trouble with that, use lifting hooks/strap.
Bench Press Form:
When you unrack the weight, draw your shoulders back, and pinch your shoulder blades together, which will help give you your natural arch, and puff out your chest. This will provide a stable base and as long as you keep your shoulders drawn back, it will keep the deltoid activation to a minimum.
Also, bring your legs back in close, to where it would be hard to put your feet flat to the ground. So you start on the balls of your feet. When you lower the weight, clench your butt, exhale forcefully and try to drive your heels into the ground. Keep your back down though. There will be a little arch, but don't go to extremes.
+ Tips for using chest on bench:
Another thing, flaring elbows can help place the focus on your chest. If you flare them real wide (at or close to your upper arm being perpendicular to your upper body) it reduces the role your triceps play and places more emphasis on your chest (you will be weaker, as you are taking a supporting muscle out of hte picture).
However, take note that flaring your elbows is harder on your shoulders. It places them in an unnatural range of motion, which can cause some rotator cuff issues. Some people never have these problems, otehrs do quite quickly. I will say flaring my elbows helped me really learn to push with my chest. I am trying to get away from it though, as I don't want to risk destroying my shoulders if I don't have to.
Another tip, when doing barbell bench press, imagine you are trying to squeeze the outside edges of the bar together as you push up (trying to make a horseshoe facing away from you).-
Alchemist of Alcohol
05-08-2010, 05:21 PM #4
anyone else?Today I'll do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't.
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