Training Tips & Videos - EHPLabs
EHPLABS TRAINING VIDEOS
BACK TO BASICS: THE INVERTED ROW
The back is one of the most important muscle groups in the body, and is also one of the most neglected. Having a strong back is important for basic functions, but it can be weakened by having poor posture and by sitting for extended periods of time. Weak back muscles increase the risk for injuries, but the inverted row is a great way to keep the back healthy and strong.
Many people inadvertently neglect the back by focusing primarily on “pushing” chest exercises such as bench presses, pushups and other exercises that focus on the chest. This can cause muscle imbalances that can lead to injury.
The inverted row is an excellent exercise that works the back, biceps, trapezius muscles (traps) and the surrounding stabilizer muscles. Like pushups, it requires no equipment and uses a person’s bodyweight for resistance.
The inverted row is an exercise that can be done at the gym or in the comforts of your own home with little equipment.
INVERTED ROW AT THE GYM
- Lie on the floor underneath the bar
- Grab the bar firmly with an overhand grip
- Exhale and pull your body up towards the bar
- Inhale and lower to starting position
Note. Keep body straight and maintain control throughout the exercise.
INVERTED ROW AT HOME. THE INVERTED ROW CAN BE PERFORMED AT HOME AS WELL USING A STURDY TABLE:
- Lay underneath the table
- Hold onto the edge of the table shoulder width apart
- Exhale and pull yourself upwards
- Let your chin touch the table
- Exhale and slowly lower to starting position
Note: Inverted rows can also be performed using a sheet or resistance bands by looping them around a sturdy object like a pipe, stairs or bannister.
If working out at home, a good rule of thumb is to do pushups and inverted rows evenly. This will ensure muscle symmetry as well as overall improved strength and conditioning.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF A STRONG BACK
Having a strong back is key to good health. Here are three reasons to incorporate inverted rows into your existing workout routine:
1. Improved posture. A strong back can help improve posture. Poor posture has been linked to several ailments, including an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and death by over one hundred percent in each instance.1
2. Improved athletic performance. A strong back allows a person to perform movements efficiently, which can improve athletic performance.
3. Decreased risk of injury. Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office.2 Having a strong back decreases the risk of injury, and allows a person to twist and move freely without pain or discomfort.
Incorporate inverted rows into your workout today. Your body will thank you.
MECHANICAL DROP SETS
Whenever you perform an exercise to failure, your set stops not because you have exhausted all your muscle fibres but, simply, because you are unable to generate sufficient force to lift the weight you are using.
For example, if you are curling 20kg dumbbells, completing 10 reps but unable to do an eleventh, you simply no longer have the strength to lift 20kg. You may well be able to do a few more reps with 18kg.
You can extend your set (and do more reps) by reducing the weight. This is called a drop set. On reaching failure, you simply drop the weight by 10% or so and pump out a few more reps. Then, on reaching failure again, you drop the weight a second time and do yet more reps. As a result, your set continues beyond the point at which you would normally have had to stop.
This intensity-boosting strategy is popular amongst bodybuilders as it allows them to more fully exhaust their muscles which should lead to increased growth. It is, however, a system that is not without flaws.
The time it takes to reduce the weight may mean you rest to long between drops and start to recover.
This system is impractical for exercises like bench presses, or squats
You end up performing set after set of the same exercise – boring!
The size of the drop is dictated by the next available weight increment and might not be right for you or the exercise you are performing
There is a solution to all these problems – mechanical drop sets.
Mechanical drop sets extend your working set not by reducing the weight but by moving to a new, similar exercise that is slightly easier. This allows you to quickly move from one exercise to the next without having to stop and change weights. It also injects some much needed variety into your workout and works your muscles from a variety of angles – something bodybuilders love to do.
Here are some tried and tested mechanical drop sets to use in your workouts. Remember, if you use this system, you need to move quickly from one exercise to the next; resting makes drop sets less effective. There is no need to change weights – just switch exercises. Make sure the weight selected keeps you in your preferred repetition range for the first exercise and then just do as many reps as you can for subsequent exercises.
1. DUMBBELL FLYES TO DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
This mechanical drop set will hammer your chest in two different ways to provide a wicked pump and a great workout.
1. Dumbbell flyes
2. Dumbbell bench press
2. BACK BLASTER PULL-DOWNS
Hit your lats from a variety of angles to really work your back and biceps.
1. Standing straight arm pull-down
2. Wide-grip lat pulldown
3. Underhand grip lat pulldown
3. INCLINE TO DECLINE DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
You’ll need a partner to change the angle of the bench for you but you’ll be rewarded with a very thorough chest workout that hits your upper, mid, and lower pecs.
1. 30-degree incline dumbbell bench press
2. Flat dumbbell bench press
3. 10-degree decline dumbbell bench press
4. LEGS, LEGS, LEGS V1.
This quick and dirty leg workout will leave your quads shaking and your heart pounding but that’s why it works!
1. Barbell lunge – long stride
2. Barbell lunge – short stride
3. Barbell back squat
5. LEGS, LEGS, LEGS V2.
Squats are the theme of this second leg mechanical drop set. Love them or loath them, squats are key to developing bigger, stronger legs.
1. Overhead squats
2. Front squats
3. Back squats