Jackie Wright – Basic Muscular Strength Training Program Design
July 16, 2009
Second in a Three-Part Series
Last week’s column highlighted the importance of muscle group balance when designing a basic muscular strength training program. This week, we will provide upper body exercise descriptions for this basic program. As always, consult a physician prior to performing any exercise program.
For all exercises below:
• Always warm-up prior to and cool down/stretch following this program
• Rotate shoulders back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine, knees relaxed and, keep the body weight in the heels for each exercise
• Two slow counts each direction
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• Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise; 2-3 times per week
• Allow 24-48 hours between muscular strength training days
Upper Body Muscular Strength Training Program
Chest – Targets the Pectorals – Standing Bench Press with Resistive Tubing – Anchor tubing around a shoulder-height immovable object, holding the handles, face away from the anchor, stagger the legs, hinging forward approximately 20 degrees from the hip joint and move far enough away from the anchor to create enough resistance in the tubing. Arms should begin and end at 90 degrees of flexion at the elbow joint and should remain at shoulder height throughout. Engaging your pectoral muscles, press the arms forward, bringing the hands in front of the body until they almost touch in front of the chest. Then, return to the beginning position.
Back – Targets the Latissimus Dorsi – Bent Over Rows – Holding one heavy dumbbell, place the left foot on a bench approximately eight-inches high, hinge from the hip joint bringing the torso forward creating a flat back, left arm resting on the left thigh, right foot on the floor, keeping the right knee relaxed. Row the right arm back initiating the movement from the scapulae, driving the elbow back/up until the upper arm is parallel to the floor, then resisting gravity, lower the arm back to the beginning position. Repeat on the left.
Shoulders -Targets the Medial Deltoid- Lateral Raises – Standing with the feet more than shoulder-width apart, knees relaxed, hold moderate to heavy dumbbells by the outside of your thighs, keeping the elbows soft. Raise the arms, initiating the movement from the middle of the shoulder only to shoulder height and back down, with no momentum.
Triceps -Targets back of upper arm – French Curls – Standing with the feet more than shoulder-width apart and the knees relaxed, hold one heavy dumbbell in both hands. Bring the arms up, pointing the elbows toward the ceiling with the upper arms right beside your ears. The arms begin flexed 90 degrees at the elbow joint. Extend the arms toward the ceiling until the elbow joint is fully extended, keeping the shoulders relaxed away from the ears. Then, bring the arms back to the 90 degree position.
Biceps – Targets front of upper arm – Bicep Curls – Suspend the arms to the sides of the body with the palms facing forward, arm pits closed, and upper arms frozen. Initiating the contraction from the biceps, curl the arm to approximately 30 degrees from the shoulder joint and then fully extend back to the beginning position.
Next week, we will cover the lower body, abs/core segments of the basic muscular strength training exercise program.
– Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her Web site http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email NSFGL@comcast.net or her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com
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