General Stretching Of The Upper Body

stretching upper body

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Stand with your feet a little wider than your pelvis width and you back is straight :

  • Hold your ams vertically with your hands clasped and your fingers crossed. Your palms directed upwards :

  • Inhale to inflate your lungs to the maximum and stretch your intercostal muscles. Push your palms up keeping your back and head upright.

  • Exhale slowly by relaxing and starts again.

This stretching exercise stretches intercostal, rectus abdominis, latissimus dorsi, teres major, triceps. When you incline your torso laterally, you stretch more your external oblique and internal oblique, quadratus lumborum and the internal and medium part of your erectors spinae.

stretching upper body lateral

Note

This stretch is great for relaxing the body after a training with heavyweights like leg press, squat, deadlift because the ribcage and spine have been compressed.

This movement may occasionally replace or supplement the stretching at the bar  to rebalance the pressure and tensions of the intervertebral joints.

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-Steph

Stretching At The Bar

stretching bar back

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

Suspended at the fixed bar with the hands apart and with a pronated grip (thumb inwards) :

  • Inhale and exhale slowly focusing on the relaxation of your body. This allows you to relax your back and rebalance the pressure inside the intervertebral discs (the discs that connect the vertebrae to each other).

  • When you feel your muscles relaxed, lower you head forward to try to touch your sternum with your chin. This allows you to stretch the middle and the top of your back.

To increase the stretch, you can ask a person to grab your hips and pull you slowly down or you can swing slightly.

This stretching is essential. When you do it regularly at the end of deadlift, squat or other exercise that compresses the spine, this allows you in the long term to limit the deterioration of your intervertebral discs. This means that this stretch reduces the risk of spinal disc herniation.

Variant

With a tight grip, you stretch more the latissimus dorsi and teres major.

Note

When you do this stretch, it’s possible that you hear cracking of the spinal column followed by a pleasant sensation of release and relaxation of the back.

Don’t worry, these crackles have no gravity. It’s because of the relaxation of the paravertebrale muscle that allow the brutal decompression of the small intervertebral and costovertebral joints. This make the same effect as a suction cup that you take off.

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-Steph

How To Do T-Bar Rows

t bar rows

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

Podcast:

Lying on the belly on the inclined bench and take the handles with a pronated grip :

  • Inhale and brings the bar to your chest

  • Exhale at the end of movement

This exercise is similar to the barbell bent rows but it allows a better work of the back muscles because there is less need to focus on the body’s positioning.

This exercise works latissimus dorsi, teres major, posterior deltoid, arm’s flexor (biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis), rhomboids and trapezius.

The machines with a belly support allow to focus less on the positioning, abs and spinal erectors don’t work. When there are very heavy weights, the rib cage can be compressed on the ventral support and this hinders breathing. When it’s difficult to breathe, doing the exercise is unpleasant.

Note

With a supinated grip, this exercise especially works the brachialis and the upper part of the trapezius at the end to the pull.

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-Steph

How To Do T-Bar Rows On Feet

t bar rows feet

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

Podcast

Knees slightly bent with the bar between your legs. Your take the handles with a pronated grip. Your back is straight and you incline your torso at about 45° :

  • Inspires and brings the bar to your chest

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

This exercise is similar to the barbell bent rows but it allows a better work of the back muscles because there is less need to focus on the body’s positioning.

This exercise works latissimus dorsi, teres major, infraspinatus, rhomboids, the middle part of trapezius and arm’s flexors (biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis).

Incline your torso works your abs and spinal erectors isometrically.

With a supinated grip, this exercise especially works the brachialis and the upper part of trapezius at the end of the pull.

There are some machines that allow you to have a semi-pronation grip. With a semi-pronation grip, you intensely work the forearms muscles, especially the brachioradialis.

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-Steph

How To Do Barbell Bent Rows

barbell bent rows

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

Podcast :

Standing with your knees slightly bent. Your have your back straight and incline your torso around at 45°. You take the barbell with a pronated grip and your hands are wider than your shoulder’s width. Your arms relaxed :

  • Inhale, block your breath and squeeze your abs. Pull the barbell to your torso.

  • Returns to the starting position and exhale.

This exercise work latissimus dorsi, teres major, posterior deltoid, arm’s flexor (biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis).

When your shoulder blades get closer, your rhomboids and trapezius also work.

Incline your torso works your spinal erectors isometrically.

This exercise has several variants like the hand width, pronated or supinated grip or torso inclination allow you to work your back in different angles.

Attention

It’s important to keep your back straight because if you rounded your back during the movement, you risk having injuries.

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-Steph

How To Do Seated Rows With A Bar

seated rows with a bar

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

Podcast:

Sitting on the machine with your feet on the feet stop. Your torso is bent and you hold the bar with a pronation grip (thumbs inside). Your hands are more apart than the width of your shoulders:

  • Inhale, pull the bar towards your chest by straightening your back with your elbows rise.

  • Exhale at the end of the movement and returns to the starting position by controlling the movement.

This exercise works latissimus dorsi, teres major, posterior deltoid, infraspinatus and teres minor and a little bit the biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis.

When the shoulders blades get closer, the rhomboids and the middle part the trapezius also work.

During straightening your torso, the spinal erectors also work.

Hands position

  1. With a supinated grip (thumbs outside), you work especially the lower trapezius, rhomboids, and brachialis.

  2. With a pronated grip (thumbs inside), you work particularly posterior deltoid and the middle part of the trapezius.

Attention

Stay focus to keep your back straight because if you round your back, you can have injuries.

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-Steph

How To Do One-Arm Dumbbell Rows

one arm dumbbell rows

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

Podcast:

The dumbbell in your hand with a semi-pronated grip and your opposite knee and opposite hand in support on the bench:

  • Your back straight, inhale and pull the dumbbell as high as possible keeping your arm along the body and bringing your elbow back.

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

To have a maximum contraction, you can make a slight twist fo your torso at the end of the pull.

This exercise works the latissimus dorsi, teres major, posterior deltoid and at the end of contraction, trapezius, and rhomboids. Biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis also work a little bit

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

-Steph