Chest and back are key upper body muscles. They are not only essential for health and functionality but also for creating perfect overall shape; they help to enhance aesthetics by enhancing the difference between the shoulders and the waist, giving that much-sought look of athletes and models of both genders. They also help to create the sensual X shape that so many women desire. This program should be adopted for two to two-and-a-half months. Devote one day each week to the routine described here, and work it into your split routine accordingly. Each session should last for about 45 minutes, or an hour if you also include some chest and back stretches at the end and start with a general warm-up (speed walking, on the street or on a treadmill) for 5 to 10 minutes to raise the body temperature so that the muscles are more supple and better able to deal with the loads to come. In any case, you must train with great intensity if you want to achieve the purpose of the routine, which is to improve your chest and back and create a wider V shape from the waist upwards.
SEATED PULLEY PULLDOWN
Sit on the seat of the machine with your feet flat on the floor and grab the pulley bar with your hands in a prone grip slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull the weight down firmly until the bar touches your traps then slowly return to the starting point without dropping the load.
Grab the parallel bars with your hands and fully extend your body. Then lean your upper body forward slightly and lower it until your arms are parallel to the bars (do not go lower as this could put too much pressure on the chest ligaments and joints). Then power back up strongly to the starting point.
Hold the handles of the pulley cables as shown in the photo, then lean forward slightly and pull the handles together in a kind of arch movement that ends when the hands meet at the front of the body. Contract the pectorals and then reverse the movement slowly to return to the starting point.
This is an exercise that many athletes perform incorrectly. To ensure you do it properly, do the following: hang from a pull-up bar, with your hands (in a prone grip) more than shoulder-width apart and your body fully extended. With a partner holding you just above the waist, pull yourself up until your chin almost touches the bar, or goes slightly higher. Lower your body slowly, and try to perform this part of the movement without assistance from whoever is spotting you.
HANGING ABDOMINAL CRUNCHES
Hang from a horizontal bar, keeping your body fully extended. Raise your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor and then fully contract your abs. Return slowly to the starting point.
Check the full training on January’s issue!