The back row


Topography

The back is the largest muscle group in the body and is also the most complex. From the top of the trapezius at the base of the neck to the bottom of the lower back muscles, a number of other muscles co-exist. As this is not an anatomy lesson and is aimed at beginners, there will be no discussion of each individual muscle. Maybe for another time. Suffice to say that we will divide the group of muscles in the back into the upper back muscles and the lower back as they have a somewhat separate motion.

The upper back muscles serve mostly to pull the arms and shoulders back while the lower back muscles extend the torso away from the legs. It is not possible to isolate each group completely as they assist each other yet completely different exercises will be need to target each group. At this stage we will focus on the upper back as exercises for it also recruits the lower back as stabilisers. The back row is the exercise that targets the whole upper back muscles and the latissimus dorsi in particular and to a lesser extent, the lower back in order to support the upper back. Continue reading

New clothes


It seems I’d better invest in a Van Heusen shirt as it seems never to go out of fashion. Less shopping to be done and more time to spend fighting the iron. The next post will be about the squat and believe me, you will pile on muscle with that exercise and not just leg muscles. Because you recruit a large number of muscles when doing the squat, you get more growth hormone, testosterone and other hormones coursing through your veins. You might well need another shirt yourself after working out your chicken legs!

Your first visit to the gym


IF you join a gym for the first time, you may be overwhelmed by the number of exercise machines there. Even if you are a regular user of gyms, every gym has different machines and you may encounter a machine you have never used before. This happens to me all the time.

If you have never worked out in a gym before, as part of the familiarisation process, I recommend you try out all the machines in your first visit. Continue reading

The beginning


I have decided to post a few regular articles on lifting weights and keeping fit. I intend to keep articles short so they are quick to read and absorb. Let’s get started straightaway.

Which is better for a newbie? Whole body workout every session or working separate muscle groups?
I recommend a whole body workout for the beginner. Muscles work together so it is not that easy to work a group in isolation. and at the beginning, there is no need to focus so much on a particular muscle group, even if you just want bigger biceps. You should concentrate on getting fitter instead.

That’s it for now. More to come next time.