Random Articles from:http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/ - 2009
The Back, Part Oneby Samuel HomolaWe’ve all heard the old adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. This is true, of course, and has special meaning when we think of the back in its role of supporting practicallyeverything we do, especially bodybuilding and weightlifting.Many things can go wrong with the back, some of which cannot be avoided, but there is noexcuse for weak musculature in the back of a weight trainee . . . and there is rarely such aweakness by the usual standards of athletes. But persons who lift weights – for bodybuilding,weightlifting, or both – must make a special effort to acquire extraordinary low back strength inorder to protect themselves from possible strain.The bodybuilder, of course, usually takes adequate exercise to widen and thicken the muscles of the upper back in order to balance his physique, but too often in efforts to keep the waist and hipssmall the low back area is neglected.I’ve seen a great many bodybuilders who had a waist like a wasp, and who, in addition toneglecting weightlifting exercises per se, did so many of their bodybuilding exercises in supine,incline and prone positions that they had a low back that was relatively weak – that is, it wasweaker proportionately than their arms, legs and abdominals. In time this could result in a seriouslow back strain in unaccustomed lifting or labor. A bodybuilder who can bench press 300 lbs. andsquat 400, for example, might impose strain upon the weaker lower back if he should attempt tolift a keg of water or push his car out of the mud; the arms and legs are strong enough for the jobbut the back isn’t. So for your own protection make sure that you also strengthen your low backarea with your workouts. It would be a shame to be put out of commission by a needless backstrain owing to underestimating the importance of the low back, but if you don’t take measures toprevent such an accident, it’s waiting to happen.It may be a matter of opinion, but I believe that a bodybuilder with thick spinal erector musclesplus the well-developed external obliques that frame the lower portion of the rugged lookingabdominals is not only stronger than his narrow-waisted counterpart but also has a more manlyappearing physique.This power is also more evident when the latissimus dorsi muscles are heavily developed all theway from their origin (which begins in the low back area) to their insertion in the back, top portionof the upper arm (near the head of the humerus). The body man who looks like he’s got a sharplydemarcated balloon under each arm when he does a spread does not necessarily have moremuscle than one whose lats seem to taper down into his waistline.In any event, no two physique types are exactly alike, and you probably won’t be able to build aphysique like the one you admire. Nevertheless, make an effort to assure maximum developmentand strength in ALL of the major muscles, and select those exercises that use the muscles inmovements that the muscles were designed to undergo. For example, the latissimus dorsimuscles are designed to pull the arms down and back. Thus, bentover barbell rowing motions for these muscles should be done by keeping the elbows close to your sides and pulling the bar toyour waistline, instead of straight up to your chest. When you do rowing motions by lifting the bar to your chest, with your elbows pointed out, you throw most of the work on the trapezius, therhomboids and other muscles high up between your shoulders, and the lats are used but little – atleast not enough to assure full development throughout the length of the muscle.