last comment: 19/03/08

From Start to UP and Down again!

Grab the handle from the ground keeping the back nice and straight.

find the right posture and position. I prefer to stand a few degrees open to the cable so that the movement starts a bit in front of me and goes up a bit diagonally towards the back. Usually this exercise is performed standing absolutely parallel to the cable in order to isolate the middle head as much as possible - what is hard to achieve. I open my position a bit for the following reasons:

  • Standing parallel, the cable scratches along the clothes and the other hand which I need to control my posture. I just don't like that. The other option would be to bend forward a bit, what I don’t like either.
  • Opening up slightly involves the back head which I find hard to train. So I give it a bit of an extra training.
  • For some reason the movement feels more controlled to me. I find it more important not:
    • to wiggle back and forth or
    • to bend the back or
    • to rip the weight up by bending forward before lifting the arm

But try it out. The important thing is to be comfortable during the movement and to feel the right muscle pounding when the blood flushes in after the set.

Feel the tension in the muscle,

clench the buttocks for solid posture,

Take a deep breath in through the nose,

Lift the arm while breathing out through the mouth.

This counts as one repetition.

Slowly let the weight down while holding the tension at all times and breathe in through the nose.

The DOWN movement is as important as the UP movement. Don't let the weight 'fall'. The whole exercise is like a hydraulic pump: Slow and rhythmic. In the above picture you can actually see the work the shoulder is doing during the down movement - the middle head pops right up - you don't want to miss out on this training effect.

This might be the time to repeat myself: I like the weight exercises because they are so efficient if done right. When I did the 'Bodypump' aerobic class I found it too hectic and almost impossible to not let the weight fall in the down movements - what takes half the effect away.

But back to the exercise!

After the last repetition turn round to use the other arm. Breaks between sets can be very short because one arm rests while the other one is working. I have seen people not doing breaks at all, but I need them - I find this exercise rather breath taking and a bit of recovery does me good.

If you have a machine with two cables you can use both arms simultaneously. That is quicker, but I personally don't like it.

  • I then would have to stand parallel to the cable which then scratches along the body.
  • I can't use as much weight as there is more balancing involved in order to synchronise the movement of the two arms.

But again: Try it out! As long as the posture is upright, you are not wiggling and the right muscle is pounding everything is allowed. You have to find your own style. For example some people say that I'm holding my arms too bent - well, my shoulders are the way I like them and I don't get injuries (always less likely when arms are bent) so I will stick with my version.

Pictures by Babul

From Start to UP and Down again!

Take the dumbbells and hold them in front of your thighs.

Shoulders are down and back, knees soft, feet shoulder wide apart, arms slightly bent.

Concentrate on the weight while keeping the head straight and the neck long.

Take a deep breath in through the nose, increase the tension in your upper body, lift the head slightly and lift the weight while breathing out through the mouth.

Lift until shoulders and upper arm build a line. At the end tilt the dumbbell a bit towards the front as shown in the setup image. You will feel that this will give the elbow a little more of a lift.

This counts as one repetition.Let the dumbbells down to start position while breathing in keeping the tension at all times. As always: The 'down' movement is as important as the 'up' movement.

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Pictures by Detlef

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Author: Rika