Incline Bench Sit-Ups

incline bench sit ups

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Sitting on the bench with your feet under the pads and your hands behind your neck. Inhale and tilt your torso without ever exceeding 20° :

  • Move your torso back up by slightly rounding your back to better target the effort on recuts abdominis

 

  • Exhale at the end of the movement.

This exercise work the entire rectus abdominis muscles and iliopsoas, rectus femoris and tensor fasciae latae (these last 3 muscles help pelvis anteversion). This movement is to do with high sets.

Variant

incline bench sit ups

When you back up, you can do a rotation of your torso to transfer a part of the effort to the obliques.

Example

A rotation to the left work more intensely right abdominal external oblique, left abdominal internal oblique and rectus abdominis on the right. Twists can be done alternately or unilaterally. The goal is to focus on the muscular sensation and it’s unnecessary to incline the bench too much.

Diagram showing the senses of action of abdomen muscle and the system of viscera’s compression

action abdomen muscle system viscera compression

 

  1. Rectus abdominis

  2. Abdominal external oblique

  3. Abdominal internal oblique

  4. Transverse abdominal

With quadrupeds, the entire rectus abdominis muscles passively support the viscera (like a hammock ) and help a little in locomotion.

With human being in bipedal mode, the entire rectus abdominis muscles have hugely strengthened so that the torso and pelvis is upright and prevent the pelvis from tipping excessively during walking or running. They became powerful muscles of contention and they built a strong core to maintain viscera in an active way.

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-Steph

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Calves Over Bench Sit-Ups

bench sit ups

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Your legs are on a bench with your back to the floor and your hands behind your head :

  • Inhale and raise your torso as high as possible to touch your knees with your head by rounding your spine.

  • Exhale at the end of the movement.

bench sit ups

This exercise works recuts abdominis and more intensely the parts above the navel.

It’s good to know that farther is your torso from the bench, this increases the mobility of the pelvis. This allows a greater range of motion and works more flexors muscles of the hips (iliopsoas, rectus femoris and tensor fasciae latae).

bench sit ups hand elbow position

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-Steph

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Bridge

bridge anatomy

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

bridge anatomy

Lie on your back with your hands flat on the floor. Your arms along your body with your knees bent :

  • Inhale and lift your buttocks from the floor by pushing hard on your feet

  • Maintain the position 2 seconds and go down your pelvis without touching the floor.

  • Exhale and start again.

This exercise mainly works hamstrings and gluteus maximus.

This movement is to be done with sets of high reps because the goal is to feel the contraction at the end of every repetition.

Note

Easy and effective, this exercise is very popular in aerobics classes.

Variant

Bench bridge :

bench bridge anatomy

Lie on your back with your hands flat on the floor. Your arms along your body with your thighs vertical and your feet on the bench :

  • Inhale and lift your buttocks from the floor by pushing hard on your feet

  • Maintain the position 2 seconds and go down your pelvis without touching the floor.

  • Exhale and start again.

This exercise works gluteus maximus and especially hamstrings because hamstrings works more here than bridge on the floor.

This movement is to be done slowly, the main thing is to feel the muscles contraction. Sets of 10 to 15 reps give better results.

With calves on the bench, you’ll work even more intensely your harmstings with gastrocnemius muscles.

You can also do this movement with a small amplitude without touch your buttocks on the floor and looking for the burning sensation.

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-Steph

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Seated Barbell Calf Raises

seated barbell calf raises

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

seated barbell calf raises

Sitting on a bench with a step under your forefeet. The barbell placed on the bottom of your thighs.

  • Do an extension of your feet

This exercise works mainly soleus. This muscle is part of the triceps surae and inserted above the knee’s joint, on tibia and fibula. It attached below to the calcaneus by the Achilles tendon. This muscle has the function of extending the ankles. The difference with the seated calf raises machine is that you can’t work with heavyweights. To have better results, it’s advisable to work with sets of 15 to 20 reps minimum.

Attention

If you have pain on thigh because of the barbell, you can use a towel or barbell pad.

Variant

You can do this exercise with the barbell without weights (the Olympic barbell weighs 20kg/44lbs) on a bench. In this case, it’s necessary to do sets with a lot of reps until the burning sensation,

triceps soleus muscles

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-Steph

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Hamstring Stretching

hamstring stretching

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing in support on one leg with your knee slightly bend. Your other leg stretched with your forefoot in flexion :

  • Your hands on your thighs with your back slightly arched. Slowly tilt your torso forward and focus on the feeling of stretching to the back of your thigh. The tilting is done at the level of the pelvis.

  • Hold this position for about 20 seconds and return slowly to the starting position.

This exercise stretches all the hamstrings muscle , adductor magnus, gastrocnemius, soleus and a little bit gluteus maximus.

Variant

hamstring stretching bench

Standing in support on one leg. Your other leg stretched out on a bench :

  • Your hands on your thighs with your back slightly arched. Slowly tilt your torso forward and focus on the feeling of stretching to the back of your thigh. The tilting is done at the level of the pelvis.

  • Hold this position for about 20 seconds and return slowly to the starting position.

To have a better feeling of streching, it’s possible to relax the calf’s muscle of the leg on the bench with the foot in extension.

Attention

In bodybuiding/fitness, stretching movements have the function of equalizing the tensions of the muscles fibers inside the muscle and limiting the risk of injury.

By using heavyweight, if the muscle fiber tension inside a muscle isn’t homogeneous, it’s the most tense fibers that will tear.

It’s for this reason that it’s advisable to do stretching exercise specific to the muscular group worked at the beginning of the session and between the warm-up sets.

Stretching exercises are always done gently and moderately to preserve the joints and avoid excessive ligamentous stretching which could destabilize the joints and create inflammatory pathologies.

Note

To avoid squat and deadlift injuries, it’s necessary to do stretching exercises at the beginning of the session and between warm-up sets.

hamstring stretching

During tilting of the pelvis forward (anteversion), the hamstrings are stretched.

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-Steph

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How To Do Box Squat

box squat

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Box squat is often used by powerlifters to gain strength to do squat.

This exercise involves doing a squat sitting on a bench for 1-2 seconds and returning to the standing position .

In classic squat the tension accumulated in the muscles during the negative phase when you get down (as a stretched elastic ) and this tension restored during the positive phase when you get up. With box squat, sitting on the bench relaxed thighs muscle, there is not tension accumulated when you get down to be used when you get up.

For the same weight, quadriceps should provide more effort for box squat than classic squat. It’s a great exercise to target work on thighs.

This exercise can be included in a training program for people who have long legs and don’t feel their quadriceps work with classic squat.

box squat

Starting squat in sitting position allows push automatisms for the classic squat which has the effect of having the positive phase to get up faster and more powerful.

Attention : It’s necessary to be careful for this exercise in controlling the movement to get down to sit gently on the bench. If get down too fast, the butt crash on the bench and this can create serious trauma due to shock and excessive compression of spinal joints.

Note: There are special benches adaptable for different morphologies with a very padded seat to limit the risk of spinal injuries and the possibility of adjusting the height. To have a good execution of the movement, it’s necessary to have your back slightly incline. If your back is too vertical at start of the bench, the exercise will be impossible to do.

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-Steph

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The Reasons For An Asymmetric Body (Part 2)

asymmetical body

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read the Part 1, click here .

When it’s a real weak point, the only thing you can do is to be persistent and patient. For this, it’s important that you learn to isolate and feel the muscle’s sensation.

Learning to isolate muscle involves 2 things :

brain muscle connection

  1. Intermuscular competition. Sincerely, 95 % of people do exercises don’t isolate and don’t feel their muscles. It’s not their fault, there are people who learn it intuitively. When you learn to use it with the « magic touch » technique, you’ll evolve much better and discover the real bodybuilding (the fake bodybuilding is to have the biggest muscles in the world).

    Intermuscular competition is to work a muscle but in fact, it’s the dominant muscle that works more than the muscle targeted by the exercise. For example, bench press targets chest but it’s shoulders and arms that work more than chest. Biceps curls target biceps but it’s forearms work more than biceps. Squat target quadriceps/hamstrings but it’s glutes work more than quadriceps/hamstrings. Intermuscular competition is the inability to isolate and work (feel) the muscle you should be working on.

    2. Engine program. The engine program is to connect your brain to your muscle. When you do an exercise, you leave a piece of memory in your brain, a piece of memory in your muscle and a piece of memory in your nervous system (the nerves in your muscle). When these 3 pieces of memory connect, this is the engine program. This is the brain-muscle connection. But beware, when you do an exercise with a poor execution, you do this exercise in « intermuscular » mode and repeating this exercise with a poor execution, you’ll create and improve a defective engine program. If you do an exercise with a good execution, you will create and improve a correct engine program.

Solution

solution

  1. Be more aware of intermuscular competition. That means you learn to isolate and feel the muscle you want to work. You need to be patient because it’s a skill that comes with time. Changing work angles for an exercise allows you to feel your muscle differently.

  2. Learn to isolate your muscle to improve your engine program. As you know now, during an exercise you create a piece of memory in your brain, muscle and nervous system.

  3. Discovers muscle contraction. You need to use an middle weight to discover the muscle contraction. It’s impossible to discover this with a heavy weight because, in this situation, you’re only focused on doing as many reps as possible. With a middle weight, you can focus on feeling your muscle because it’s a weight you can manage

  4. Learn how to transfer sensations. When you feel that your muscle doesn’t really work, corrects the movement’s execution to have the sensation on the muscle you want to work.

Execution, execution, execution. You need to practice as much as possible to improve your brain-muscle connection. This is the best way to evolve but I warn you, you need to be patient because it takes time. This is not something you learn in 12 weeks.

It’s also important that you organize your training program intelligently in the week. For exemple, don’t work your biceps 2 days in the row because your biceps need to rest. Organize the training of your muscle groups so that it doesn’t interfere in the recovery. For example, one day you train your legs and the next day you run. In this situation, you don’t help your legs to recover.

All former professional bodybuilders (who talk about this) say that steroids don’s help as much as the media make believe. Steroids only help to recover. Watch this Rich Piana’s video.

Personally, I don’s like steroids and I don’t advise you to use this. That is my position and I will repeat it again.

Now, it’s your turn. Start to learn to feel your muscles to improve your body. And the most important, be patient because it take time.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

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