Following on from our PUSH session we will look into the next inline…. THE PULL session.

A pull muscle group contracts as the weight is pulled toward the body and lengthens as the weight is extended away from the body.

The biceps are a perfect example of a pull muscle group. When performing a standing barbell curl, the biceps contract as the barbell is pulled toward the chest (concentric) and lengthen as the bar is returned to the starting position in front of the quadriceps (eccentric).

The muscle groups listed below are considered pull muscle groups. When performing a push/pull weight training routine, the intent is to exercise one or more of the pull muscle groups listed below with one or more of the pull muscle groups listed above.

  • Abdominals
  • Biceps
  • Forearms
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Hamstrings
  • Obliques
  • Trapezius
Before loading these muscles up with weight and putting them through the pull session arranged below, a warm up had better take place. The following are great for waking up the back and will help towards creating healthy shoulders and a balanced physique.

BACK FOAM ROLLING:

Just as a tight chest will hold you back from optimum posture and shoulder position, a tight and overactive back is going to cause issues. A foam roller is a good way to loosen up both but you may need to use a lacrosse ball to really get into the muscle and loosen up.

 

Place the foam roller on the ground and position yourself so you lie over the roller with it under the back of your arm pit and across your back, specifically your Latissimus Dorsi. Alternatively if using the ball you want to start off against a wall with the ball positioned on the rear of your shoulder. You want to work your way around the shoulder, over your shoulder blade and across your back focusing on any tight or sore spots.

BANDED FACE PULL

The banded pull through is a great exercise in it’s own right and is great as a warm up before pulling or pushing workouts. This movement targets specific muscles which are smaller and provide assistance to the main movers during exercise. Some of these smaller muscles include:

Rear Deltoids, Rhomboids, External Rotators (Infraspinatus and Teres Minor) and Trapezius.

 

The benefits of this movement are increased shoulder mobility and health, increased scapular stability which can help with your upper body strength and transfer to bigger lifts.

BANDED PULL APART

The band pull apart is an excellent warm-up exercise that targets the rear deltoids and upper back, this simple exercise will help you to engage your shoulder blades effectively and will help with activation of shoulders and back during lifts. By externally rotating the shoulders and supinating the forearms (turning the palms up) you can effectively emphasise the rotator cuff muscular MORE than if you performed this exercise in pronation (palms down).

 

When doing banded warm ups for the shoulders, we are trying to wake up small, tight muscles and activate them for use during your workout. As such do not start going heavier with your warm up and increasing the tension of the resistance band or getting stronger bands. This will result in the warm up becoming an exercise in it’s own right and the benefits of the warming up will be lost.

READY TO GET STARTED???

Try the following before your next Pull workout:

Foam rolling – 30 seconds on each exercise and repeat if needed or go slightly longer if very tight.

Banded Face Pulls – Perform 10 repetitions and repeat if needed.

Banded Pull Aparts – Perform 10 repetitions for each movement and repeat 3

Shoulder Dislocates(Same as from PUSH session) – Perform 5-10 repetitions and do this again if needed.

After going through these warm ups it’s time for the PULL session to begin:

THE PULL SESSION:
REAR DELT FLYES – 2 SETS OF 15 REPS
(30 SECONDS RECOVERY)
KEEP WEIGHT LIGHT, REPETITIONS CONTROLLED AND FOCUS ON CONTRACTION.
PLANK – 2 SETS OF 30 SECONDS
(30 SECONDS RECOVERY)
FOCUS ON CONTRACTION OF THE GLUTES AND ABDOMINALS. IF YOU FEEL YOUR LOWER BACK OVERTAKING STOP. THIS IS AN ACTIVATION OF CORE FOR SUPPORT DURING DEADLIFTS.
DEADLIFT – 5 SETS OF 8 REPS
(60 SECONDS RECOVERY)
FOCUS ON KEEPING YOUR CORE BRACED, SHOULDERS TIGHT AND CHIN DOWN. SQUEEZE YOUR GLUTES AT THE TOP OF THE MOVEMENT TO REALLY MAXIMISE THE GLUTEALS WORKING.
LAT PULLDOWN – 4 SETS OF 12 REPS
(60 SECONDS RECOVERY)
PULL FROM THE ELBOWS FOCUSING ON CONTRACTION OF SHOULDER BLADES AND ENGAGING YOUR BACK MUSCLES .
DUMBBELL BICEP CURL – 4 SETS OF 15 REPS
(30 SECONDS RECOVERY)
THIS IS AN ISOLATION FOR THE BICEPS, GO LIGHT AND KEEP TENSION ON THIS MUSCLE. AT THE TOP RANGE OF THE MOVEMENT PAUSE AND CONTRACT THE BICEP FULLY, CONTROL THE NEGATIVE MOTION.
SEATED ROW – 4 SETS OF 15 REPS
(30 SECONDS RECOVERY)
CONTROLLED MOVEMENTS AND FOCUS ON THE CONTRACTION OF YOUR BACK AND SQUEEZING SHOULDER BLADES.
ONE ARM ROWS – 4 SETS OF 10 REPS
(60 SECONDS RECOVERY)
BICEP CABLE CURLS – 3 SETS OF 20 REPS
(30 SECONDS RECOVERY)

 

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