Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Reload Your Guns Pt. 2

Restore Your Core - At the gym, try this test: Go to the triceps push-down station, select the heaviest weight you can use for 10 reps, and do a set. Rest a few minutes, and then repeat the set...standing on one leg. You won't be able to knock off 10 reps, and the reason is obvious. Your triceps didn't become weaker, they lost some of their support base.

A weaker or less balanced base of support limits the strength and power your arm muscles can generate, while a stronger core enables all your muscles to work harder, longer, and more productively.

Shore Up Your Weak Links - Face a mirror with a 30 pound dumbbell in your non-dominant hand and do a set of curls. Watch your body closely, especially as you tire. Notice how your upper arm pinches in against the side of your torso after a few reps? That's caused by muscles in your shoulder called external rotators. They're pulling your arm into a stronger and more stable position. Deeper into the set, you'll need more momentum to start each lift. Your shoulder blade will rise up and drop down as you curl. That's your trapezius - The diamond-shaped pair of muscles that runs from your neck to your middle back and out to the edge of each shoulder, helping your biceps do the job.

Finally, as your biceps near exhaustion, notice how you squeeze your butt cheeks and lean backward to complete your last two or three reps. That's the action of the muscles in the back side of your body, including your hamstrings, glutes, and spinal erectors. You won't find this mentioned in the standard bodybuilding playbook, but these are the muscles that enable or limit potential growth of your biceps and triceps. In Part 3, we will discuss each weak link.

Source: Men's Health

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