Chest & Lat problems!
- 02-04-2010, 12:21 AM
Chest & Lat problems!
I have been struggling in these 2 areas for size lately and any tips or ideal lifts you guys would consider would be greatly appreciated.
Its mostly my lower chest that needs help, but my upper chest could use some work too.
and for my lats, im struggling to really get that spread im looking for.
- 02-04-2010, 05:16 PM
All kinds of rows! The bread and butter of a good back routine will be a heavy rowing movement. I'm fond of bent-over barbell rows. Lately I've been doing them with an underhand grip, which makes the biceps do even more work. Underhand bent rows are one of the best exercises I've found for biceps mass and strength. Seated cable rows and T-bar rows are also great rowing movements. If you want to incorporate deadlifts, I'd recommend doing them at the end of your back routine. This way, you're already good and warmed up (CNS is warmed up) so they'll be a safer exercise (providing your form is good).
Here's an example of a back routine I may use:
Pullups x 4-5 sets (or however many sets to 50 reps)
Bent-over Rows x 4 sets x 10-12, 8-10, 6-8, 4-6
Deadlifts (after warmup) 3 x 8, 5, 3 (or something like that)
Go as heavy as you can while hitting your target rep ranges with the best possible form. The key to good back development is full range of motion and strict form. You can cheat a little on the heavier sets, but keep it to a minimum. You won't build a quality back by using a lot of cheating.
As far as chest goes, it really depends on your build. I've been hitting my chest hard for years and it progresses very, very slowly. It's not my training methods, it's mostly my genetics. I've had to work hard to get what I have, but I'll never have one of those really full, massive chests. I'm okay with that because I know I can still craft a balanced, aesthetic physique. One thing that's helped me out is using dumbbells a lot. I rarely use barbells any more. With barbells you have the advantage of using more weight, but with dumbbells you can really work the range of motion to suit your build. Or in other words, it's not AS strict as using a barbell can be. The disadvantage: by having to control two separate weights, you won't be able to use as much weight. Find what suits you best, I suppose. In my opinion, chest is a tricky muscle group to train. If you don't have great genetics in that area, you really have to try hard and figure out what works best for your build. One exercise that's underrated in my opinion that I'll strongly recommend is DB Pullovers. Do them so that you're lying perpendicular to a bench and only the top of your back is touching the bench. Lower the dumbbell behind your head in a circular motion, dropping your ass to enhance the range of motion and stretch. Arnold said he thought that DB pullovers could help develop the rip cage, and since I've been using them for the past couple years, I can honestly attest to that. Even at the least, it's helped develop my serattus, which makes my midsection look better than it used to. Here's an example of a chest routine that I sometimes use:
Incline DB Press 4 x 10-12, 8-10, 6-8, 4-6
Incline or Flat DB Flyes 4 x 8-10, sometimes 6-8
DB Pullovers 3-4 x 12-15
Or to increase intensity, I may swap the flyes for another pressing movement.
Flex between your sets and do a LOT of stretching after your workouts. Really helps brings out fuller shapes of the muscles, in my opinion.
02-04-2010, 05:25 PM
Only thing I might add in re: chest development is adding in chest dips. Basically, the difference between tricep dips and chest dips are the angle of your body and arms/elbows. Your center of gravity will determine how much of an angle/lean your upper body has in relation to the dip bars. The more upright your body is, the more the triceps are involved; the more your upper body is leaned forward, the more the chest is involved. Also, keeping the elbows tucked to the side will emphasize triceps; flared elbows will emphasize chest.
Chest: upper body leaned forward, elbows flared
Triceps: upper body near vertical, elbows tucked in
02-04-2010, 07:15 PM
I have great success with wide, narrow grip pull ups, wide lat pull downs, bent over bb rows and rack pulls. Chest i do lots of incline bb and db work, then go to flat bench bb and doing a set of flyes after every flat set. Lots of heavy smith incline if im on the solo.
02-04-2010, 07:44 PM
02-04-2010, 08:00 PM
Thanks alot. Really appreciate the help.
Another problem is the explosion on my bench press. I have great form. It's just I dont have alot of explosion getting the bar off my chest. Any suggestions?
02-05-2010, 12:27 PM
Chest dips don't work as well for me because of my build. Now, if I could find a dip machine where I could back up into a V and use a semi-reverse grip... Yeah, that's the only way I can really hit my chest with dips. My triceps do most of the work no matter how I do regular fashion dips. I lean forward, tuck my chin into my chest, which helps hit my chest a little, but still my triceps do most of the work.
Anyone else have a similar problem?
02-05-2010, 05:09 PM
Agreeing with what typo said, my triceps felt a little more invlolved in the lift than my pecs. but it still worked pretty well.
Anybody know of any workouts that would help explosion for bench?
02-06-2010, 01:04 AM
For effective back training, you want a pull from the ground (deadlift), pull from infront (row), and pull from overhead (pullup).
Perform your rows with a pronated grip to retract the scapula and keep the posterior deltoids involved, as well as the external rotators. I would alternate with chins and pullups each workout.
You can incorporate a few other movements too - face pulls, cleans.
Make sure you're gaining weight and applying more weight to those lifts as you're gaining weight and you'll fix your plateau problem.
Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
02-06-2010, 01:22 AM
02-06-2010, 01:47 AM
That's a great basic routine that i did for many years. My results were so good it quickly became my favorite bodypart to train.
I alternated it with
: Chin ups
: Dumbell Rows
For some reason i was always stronger in back training when i did it AFTER chest, especially on Deadlift days!!!!
Chest was mostly,
: Flat Bench Press
: Incline D/B Press (45 degree)
: Incline D/B Flyes (30 Degree)
:Bench Press (5x5)
:Heavy Weighted Dips
for strength increase.
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