Health & Fitness A Bodybuilding Coach Shared 4 Tips to Boost Your Back Gains
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Mum-of-three Laura Beesley, from Stirling, says that the sport helped her deal with the stress of raising her eldest son Logan who suffers from a neuronal migration disorder similar to cerebral palsy. Mum -of-three Laura Beesley, from Stirling, did barely any exercise from 2012 to 2018 after leaving the military. The 32-year-old got into going to the gym with the encouragement of husband Mike, 33, who works as a firefighter, and found it helped her mentally.
In a recent video on his YouTube channel, bodybuilding coach Eugene Teo shares some of the things he wishes he'd known when he first started lifting weights, specifically when it comes to how to train more effectively for bigger back day gains.
First, don't be afraid of letting your upper back and shoulders round forwards. "This is the best way to stretch and train the muscles of the upper back," says Teo. "One thing you'll see me emphasising a lot on the pulldowns and the rows that I do, is I really try to think about opening up and reaching around as much as possible... Depending on the angle you're pulling from, this will feel a lot better in some positions more than others, and on those exercises you should definitely let your shoulder blades roll forwards more."
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His second piece of advice is: don't underestimate the value of cross-body exercises. Teo calls them a "huge missing piece in most people's workouts," as limiting yourself to one plane of motion also limits the amount of stretch you can place on the back muscles. You can adjust this with something as simple as merely offsetting your body positioning on a cable row, so that you're reaching around your chest slightly as well as pulling the cable downwards and towards you through space.
Thirdly, don't avoid working out on machines. "Machines help you train positions that you can't train as effectively with just free weights," he says.
Finally, Teo recommends using lifting straps. This is especially useful if you find that you reach fatigue with your grip strength before your other muscles during back training, as it will enable you to keep churning out high quality reps for longer in your next back day workout.
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