ON THE BENEFITS OF SUBORDINATE EXERCISES
BOTH IN REGARDS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BODY AS WELL AS THE WELL-BEING OF THE MIND
BY DONNY SHANKLE CPT
“Familiarity Breeds Contempt.” Anonymous
CHEST SUPPORTED ROW
The chest supported row is a great exercise to strengthen the muscles of the back and abdomen. To get the most out of this exercise focus on raising your chest off of the pad at the top of the concentric phase. The action of rowing the weight into you is by itself a great way to develop the latissimus dorsi muscles but, it is the eccentric and concentric action of the erector spinae which will give the weightlifter a herculean back resonating virility and power. As always a strong back is vitally important in weightlifting. This exercise should help you to both keep your chest up during a snatch and clean, and bring the bar into you.
end of eccentric
To begin find yourself a row machine or flat bench raised on boxes or plates. Place your chin over the top of the pad if you are using a machine. Depending on how tall you are you may need to put you feet on the floor. Grab a hold of the handles and take in a deep breath. Relax your arms and upper back until it has rounded completely. Look down at the floor at a 45 degree angle and feel your scapula spread apart. Your stomach and chest should be against the pad ready to push into the concentric phase as you begin to pull your elbows back. If you are using a flat bench you will not be able to let the back round but this is OK. You can still contract the back at the top as you raise the bar to the back of the bench. When you are using a flat bench be sure you are raised up enough so the arms are straight at the end of the eccentric phase.
end of concentric
As you move out of the eccentric phase into the concentric begin by pulling your scapula together. Lift your eyes straight ahead and draw your elbows back and close to your body. Do not let your elbows flare out. The important part during this part of the exercise is to lift your chest up which will allow your spine to contract. Push your stomach pad or bench and at the top draw your shoulders back, raise your chest as high as you can, and focus on feeling your back muscles pulling hard. Use the machine and bench as a good indicator of how far to come up. If you are hitting the back of the pad this is good. Initially you may feel discomfort in your abdomen as you push hard with it against the pad. This is normal and is caused by having weak abdominal muscles. Over time you will become more comfortable with the exercise as your abdominals become stronger. Once at the top your breath should still be held in, and as you bring the weight down breathe out during the bottom or the end of the eccentric phase and prepare to breathe in again. The benefits of this exercise when done properly will help you on the platform tremendously. Your prime movers are the erector spinae, latissimus muscles, and abdominals. Your stabilization muscles are the abdominals but the machine will stabilize you throughout.
Advanced Way: Loop a resistance band around the end of the area meant to load the weight and have someone stand on the opposite end to increase the tension during the concentric.
Duration: 10 minutes
Placement in training: Directly after back raises or active rest day.