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

Understand How Your Workout Works In Your Body (Part 2)

body anatomy workout organs

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

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

Knowing your type of morphology (ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph) helps a lot to select a training program.

Morphology

morphology endomorph ectomorph mesomorph

Ectomorph

An ectomorph tends to be thin, and struggles to gain weight as either body fat or muscle. They can eat piles of food and stay looking the same, even when gaining muscular weight is their biggest goal. People who battle to gain muscle are often known as “hardgainers.”

Ectomorphs tends to have a lean build, long limbs, and small muscle bellies. Even if an ectomorph manages to put on weight, they may still look skinnier than they are, particularly in the calves and forearms.

Being an ectomorph doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be weak, though. You can still get remarkably strong, and you can be every bit as fit and healthy as someone who looks larger and more muscular. But if you want to gain weight, you’d better be prepared to eat like you’ve never eaten before.

Mesomorph

The mesomorph has a middle-of-the-road build that takes the best of both worlds. They tend to have wide shoulders, a narrow waist, relatively thin joints, and round muscle bellies.

In short, if you’re a mesomorph, you have a natural tendency to be fit and relatively muscular. Does this mean you can do nothing, eat everything, and get away with it forever? Definitely not—and you’re not necessarily healthier than the other two types, either. But you may be able to “bounce back” from being out of shape more easily than the other two body types, gaining muscle and burning fat with comparative ease.

Endomorph

The endomorph tends to gain weight and keep it on. Their build is a little wider than an ectomorph or mesomorph, with a thick ribcage, wide hips, and shorter limbs. They may have more muscle than either of the other body types, but they often struggle to gain it without significant amounts of accompanying body fat. If you ever feel like you gain 5 pounds simply walking by a donut shop, you may be an endomorph.

This definitely doesn’t mean that an endomorph can’t be healthy. They can be every bit as strong, healthy, and capable as the other two groups, and may actually have some strength advantages due to their additional muscle mass. But if and when they decide to lean out, it’ll take hard work!

If you don’t know your morphology type, you can click here .

It’s important to understand that our body is changing all the time due to the environment, age and food. That’s what this theory of Ecto, Meso and Endo is important for me to have results. I know there are people who don’t believe in this theory. My advise is to test this theory about yourself and see if it works or not.

There is also the skeleton and muscle genetics that influence muscle development.

You know, when I started to train seriously, my body responded well to exercises in the first year. I was happy, my body changed quickly. And all of a sudden BOOOOM, my body’s evolution stagnated. I started to worry and I think you know what I’m talking about.

Muscle mass

body anatomy workout muscle

Your muscle mass is decided by the stress that you will give to your muscle. The more you stress your muscle, the more it will respond. The more you rest, the more your muscle will respond. When you rest, your muscle recovers and your nervous system recovers. Understanding how much stress you put on your muscles is as important as knowing the difference between a set with high reps or low reps.

Look this example in my gym, click here.

You can’t walk around and talk to everyone in your gym like you’re in bar. The gym is not a bar ! When I started using the intensification methods, that’s where I really gain muscle.

Many people ask me if it’s possible to gain muscle and be shredded at the same time. The answer is that the first year of training, yes. In the beginning, you will gain muscle and burn fat, because you’re doing more intense physical activity than the year before.

But when you stop to train for more than 2 weeks , you have muscle atrophy and you start to store more fat.

If you spend several months without training, your muscles will turn into fat. The muscle is a tissue (soft tissue) and the fat is a tissue (adipose tissue). You understand !?! I know, I lost you and it’s the case for many people. The muscle and the fat are both cellular tissue.

It’s for this reason that you always need to continue to train because the more you train, the more you will gain muscle mass. And to gain muscle mass, you need to pay attention to your diet and recovery (sleep).

That’s the basis for gaining muscle. I know that on internet, there are several influencers like Christian Guzman , Steve Cook , Marc Fitt  who can say things that others dispute. But if you look deeper, there is only one way to gain muscle (regular training, diet and sleep), influencers explain only variants so don’t panic.

Conclusion

To explain it simply, you have your muscle and behind your muscle, there is fat. Fat is all the time waiting for the muscle works less to cover the muscle. The less you work on your muscle (muscle atrophy), the more the fat will cover your muscle. After several months without training, you will see in the mirror that you have lost your muscles. And you’re going to say : « Shit ».

Use a simple training program to understand the process for an effective training. It will be long. The 12-weeks training program is only a program that starts the process for your body to change, you need to train regularly all year long.

Stop listening to conflicting advice (it’s just for buzz), it’s the best way to stop you to have a better body. Choose a simple training program, adapt it to your schedule and use it all year long.

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

-Steph

Angled Leg Press

angled leg press anatomy

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

Warning : Using leg press with heavy weight may cause a displacement in the sacroiliac joint, which can lead to contracture.

sacroiliac joint

angled leg press

Installed in the machine with your back on the back pad and your feet a little apart :

  • Inhale and unlock security. Bend your legs as much as possible to have your thighs on the sides of your ribcage.

  • Back to the starting position and exhale at the end of the movement.

The feet’s position allows you to target certain muscles :

  • Feet low on the plate work primary quadriceps

  • Feet high on the plate work primary glutes and hamstrings.

  • Feet apart on the plate work primary adductors.

angled leg press feet position

Note

This exercise is good for people with back problems and who can’t do squat. Attention, it’s necessary not to take off the glutes of the back pad.

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-Steph

Spinal Disc Herniation

disc herniation

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

First we can say : « disc herniation » or « herniated disc » but I prefer use « disc herniation » in my article.

Disc herniation is a common pathology in bodybuilding. This often occurs because of poor back placement during exercises such as squat, deadlift and rows (barbell bent row, seated row, etc).

During the execution of theses exercises, the main defect observed is the rounding of the back or a flexion of the spine. Because of that discs are pinched forward and loosened backward.

disc herniation

If an intervertebral disc cracked or aged, the gelatinous fluid of the nucleus pulposus moves backwards and can compress the spinal cord or roots of the spinal nerves. The symptoms of a disc herniation depends on the nature of the lesion, the amount of nucleus displaced and the surface that nucleus compresses.

The disc may have a bump or even worse, the nucleus may explode through the surrounding annulus fibrosus. It’s also possible that the posterior ligament that joins the vertebrae to each other is broken. The compressions caused by the rupture of the annulus fibrosus are always painful and incapacitating.

In bodybuilding, disc herniation are mainly at the lumbar level. Often between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae or between the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae. The pain is dull and deep and sometimes with numbness and tingling. Often the pain is in the middle of the back or on one side. The pain extends onto the glutes, pelvis and pubis. Sometimes pain can be felt throughout the leg following the path of the sciatic nerve because the sciatic nerve is compressed at the root (hence the name of sciatic to define this type of pain).

disc herniation sciatic nerve

Usually disc herniation resolve spontaneously and the pain gradually disappears. But in some cases the bump on a vertebral disc doesn’t disappear and can continue to painfully pres on the nerves or it’s a loose piece of intervertebral cartilage that compresses the nervous elements.

In these 2 cases, the doctor will think of doing a surgical operation to remove the part that compresses the nerves.

To avoid having a disc herniation, it’s essential to do squat, deadlift, « good morning » and rows (rows, barbell bent row, seated row) with excellent positioning technique.

Attention

For all exercises done with very heavy weight, it’s necessary to perform a « blocking » :

  1. Take a deep breath and block the breathing to fill the lungs like a balloon. This stiffens the ribcage and prevents the top of the torso form tilting forward.

  2. Squeeze abs stiffens the belly, This increases the intra-abdominal pressure and prevents the torso from sagging forward.

  3. By slightly arching the lower back with lumbar squeeze, this allows to have the spine’s bottom in extension.

These 3 simultaneous actions is what we call « blocking ». This « blocking » has the function of avoiding the rounding or bending of the spine because with very heavy weights, it can create disc herniations .

Note

After a training session with very heavy weights, it’s advisable to do stretching for the spine. There is an excellent exercise to relax the back muscles and rebalance the pressure inside the intervertebral discs. Click here .

Bad position

disc herniation bad positon squat deadlift

For exercises such as deadlift or squat, it’s important not to round your back to avoid lower back injuries.

Disc herniation

disc herniation

Flexion of the spine with heavy weights can create disc herniations at the level of the lumbar vertebrae.

These disc herniations are common at squat and deadlift. This is caused by a bad back position during exercise. That’s why it’s important to work the technique for these exercises.

Disc herniation according to the age

disc herniation intervertebral

From the age of 30 years old, intervertebral discs degenerate and don’t worry, it’s normal, The annulus can crack and the nucleus pulposus dries progressively.

Vertebral discs of people over 30 years old are more rigid, less elastic and the mobility of the spine is more limited. But as the viscous gel of the nucleus pulposus deacreases due to drying, the risk of the vertebral discs moving and compressing the nerves diminished.

Vertebral discs of people under 30 years old are more flexible, more elastic and there is more mobility with the spine. There is a greater amount of viscous gel in the nucleus pulposus which increases the risk that vertebral discs will move and compress the nerves. Disc herniation is very common among young athletes.

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

-Steph

How To Do Squat

squat

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

Squat is the #1 exercise for bodybuilding because it works a lot of the muscular system and is great for the cardiovascular system. Squat allows to have a good thoracic expansion and a good respiratory capacity.

  • Standing in front of the barbell resting on the support. Put yourself under the barbell and place the barbell on your trapezius a little higher that the posterior deltoids. Take the barbell with a pronated grip. The spread of the hands is variable according to the morphology. Pull your elbows backwards.

  • Inhale deeply (to maintain an intrathoracic pressure that will prevent your torso from sagging forward). Arch you back slightly, squeeze your abs, look forward and take off the barbell.

  • Back 1 or 2 steps. Stop with your feet parallel (or slightly outward). Your feet are about your shoulders width. Squat down by tilting your back forward (the flexion axis passing through the hip joint). Control the descent without rounding your back to avoid injury.

  • When your femurs arrive horizontally, do an extension of your legs by straightening your torso to return to the starting position. Exhale at the end of the movement.

Squat works mainly quadriceps, glutes, adducteurs, erector spinae, abs and hamstring.

Note

Squat is one of the best moves to develop the gluteal curve.

2 ways to place the barbell

squat barbell posiiton

  1. On trapezius

  1. On deltoids and trapezius like powerlifters

Variants

  1. People with stiff ankles or long femurs can place a wedge under the heels to avoid too much torso inclinaison. This allows to postpone a part of the effort on quadriceps.

  2. The barbell’s position may be on the back (on the posterior deltoids). This reduce the cantilever by increasing the lifting power of the back which allows to take heavier weights. This is a technique used by powerlifters.

  3. It’s possible to do squat with the Smith machine, which makes it possible to avoid the torso inclinaison and to locate the effort on quadriceps.

How to place the feet

The feet position is important during the execution of the classic squat (feet apart at about the shoulders width). Feet should be in parallel or slightly outward. What is most important is to respect the person’s morphology and to place the feet in the physiological axis of the knees. For example, if you walk with your feet out, squat with your feet out.

Different torso’s inclinaison according to the morphologies

squat morpology

  1. Short legs, long torso : slightly inclined torso, weak cantilever

  1. Long legs, short torso : very inclined torso, important cantilever

Good position

squat good position

During the squat, the back should be as straight as possible throughout the movement. According of the morphologies (long/short legs, stiff/flexible ankles) and the different execution’s technique (feet’s position, use of compensated sole, barbell in up/down position), the torso could be very inclined or slightly inclined because flexion is done at the hip joint.

Bad position

squat bad position

It’s necessary not to round the back while performing the squat because this can create injuries in the lumbar region and spinal disc herniation.

Note

To really feel the work of the glutes, it’s necessary to have the thighs horizontally.

1-2-3 : negatives phase

4: full squat

squat full

 

It’s possible to have thighs lower than horizontal to better feel the glutes work but this technique can be done only by people who have short femurs or flexible ankles. It’s necessary to be very careful with the full squat because it is really easy to round the back.

Attention

For all exercises done with very heavy weight, it’s necessary to perform a « blocking » :

  1. Take a deep breath and block the breathing to fill the lungs like a balloon. This stiffens the ribcage and prevents the top of the torso form tilting forward.

  2. Squeeze abs stiffens the belly, This increases the intra-abdominal pressure and prevents the torse form sagging forward.

  3. By slightly arching the lower back with lumbar squeeze, this allows to have the spine’s bottom in extension.

These 3 simultaneous actions is what we call « blocking ». This « blocking » has the function of avoiding the rounding or bending of the spine because with very heavy weights, it can create disc herniations .

 

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Triceps Tear With Back Exercises

triceps, tear, rupture, pull, up, back, exercise

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

Podcast:

Workout for back exercise with very heavy weights such as lat pulldowns or chin-ups with weights can create injuries to the long head of the triceps brachii.

In fact, the latissimus dorsi is a powerful muscle whose function is to bring your arms close to your rib cage and your distal tendon is anchored in your humerus.

It’s for this reason that it’s called the climber’s muscle

Your long head of triceps has the function of extending your forearm and bringing your arm nearer to your rib cage. It’s when you bring your arm closer to your rib cage that your long head of triceps and your latissimus dorsi work together.

Usually, this is when the long head of the triceps has not had a good warm up or is tired that there is a tear.

This happens very simply. Imagine that during an exercise such as lat pulldowns or chin-ups with a very heavy weight, you release for a few seconds your muscle of the latissimus dorsi. The result is that at the tension will go on your long head of triceps.

In a few thousandths of a second, this may partially tear your triceps long head and usually, it’s located near of the connection of your triceps long head and the scapula. Fortunately, it’s rare to have a total tendinous tear.

This type of injury doesn’t have the same consequences as shoulder injuries because, with a shoulder injury, you’re almost forced to stop to train the upper body.

Despite the injury, it’s possible to do exercise with light weights. You can do exercise for the back like low cable row, t-bar row and triceps pushdowns with the elbows along the body for the triceps.

It’s recommended to have a rest period before to restart the upper body training.

Note

triceps stretching

It’s possible a triceps long head tear with the barbell lying extension. To avoid this, it’s advisable to do some stretching exercises before training.

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

-Steph