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the Ultimate Upper Body Exercise


 

 

 

 

 

 

Want an exercise that works your arms, shoulders, chest, upper back and abs at the same time? Try pull-ups. Muscles that aren’t directly involved in moving the body act as stabilizers, so they get a solid workout. There is no better exercise for developing a wide-V back than pull-ups. Modern exercise machines make it possible for anyone to get an upper body pull-up workout. If you can’t do a pull-up, have a partner spot you at your hips or use a pull-up assist machine. If you are a pull-up dynamo, run a chain through some weights and attach it to your weight belt. The chin-up is the easiest way to start: Using a supinated (palms up) grip, grasp the bar at shoulder width and begin from a full hang. Pull up until your chin reaches the bar, and then lower your body under control to the starting position. The next level of difficulty is to use a pronated grip (palms down) and do the exercise the same way. The most advanced technique is to use a wide grip and do the exercise either to your front or behind the neck. Wide-grip pull-ups put more stress on your rhomboid muscles. The pull-up is probably the best all-around upper body exercise. Make it part of your routine.

 

 

Best Exercise for Building Wide Lats. Scientists use electromyography (EMG) to identify the most active muscles during exercises, such as benches, squats, curls, sit-ups and lat pull-downs. EMG works by measuring the electrical activity of muscles. The harder the muscle works, the more electricity the EMG measures. The lat pull-down (lat pull) is a popular exercise for building the lats, shoulders and arms. University of Miami scientists headed by Dr. Joseph Signorile discovered that wide-grip anterior (front) pull-downs stressed the lats more than doing the exercise behind the neck or using a narrow grip with palms forward or backward. Wide-grip front lat pulls were also best for developing the triceps and posterior deltoid during the eccentric (return to full arm extension) phase. The close-grip lat pull (using handles) was good for working the pecs (during the pull-down) and posterior delts (during negatives). This study showed that wide-grip front lat pulls work the lats better than other lat pull methods. (J Strength Cond Res, 16: 539-546)

 

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