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Old 08-25-2010, 08:57 PM   #1
Emily Mattes
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Default Back training, part deux

I've been doing Kroc rows, barbell rows, controlled dumbbell rows, pull-ups, all of those things in order to increase my back strength but I'm still having trouble with it--mainly with being able to work maximal back strength rather than pure volume work.

I run into a wall when it comes to adding weight. I can rep out a certain weight with full range of motion/scapular retraction/etc for ages, but the minute I add a few pounds I lose range of motion completely. There's no gradual drop-off in the number of "good" reps that I see with other exercises (squats, deads, etc). I would like to be doing heavier back work (working up to a heavy set of 2-5 reps), but the above problem makes it difficult.

How would I address this particular weakness? I don't know if more volume is the answer, as that hasn't worked for me so far. What would you suggest? Isometric holds at the top of the rep? Eccentric work? Or is this normal for the back?

(Also, this is more specific to the upper/mid-back than the lower back)
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:53 PM   #2
Brian DeGennaro
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Could be lack of midline stability?
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:15 PM   #3
Emily Mattes
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Well, I have no hamstring or glute strength to speak of, and my core strength is admittedly lower than it should be (working on both of these). But this problem happens with supported row work as well (like on a Hammerstrength machine or a lying dumbbell row on a bench).
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:51 AM   #4
glennpendlay
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Emily, this makes no sense. The back is maybe the easiest part of the body to get strong. Can you tell me what you are doing now? I just cant imagine not being able to make gains in back strength...
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:57 AM   #5
Donald Lee
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Maybe with lower weights you subconsicously cheat?
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:32 PM   #6
Grissim Connery
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if i'm having row issues, heavy shrugging seems to help. if i'm having pullup issues, front lever work seems to help.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:46 PM   #7
Alex Bond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily Mattes View Post
I run into a wall when it comes to adding weight. I can rep out a certain weight with full range of motion/scapular retraction/etc for ages, but the minute I add a few pounds I lose range of motion completely. There's no gradual drop-off in the number of "good" reps that I see with other exercises (squats, deads, etc).
I seem to have this same issue too with rows. X#, I can do over and over and over and it looks good, but X+5# and the ROM I can do shrinks dramatically. I don't know exactly what causes the problem but it definitely happens to me. It seems to happen less with the DB rows than with the BB rows or machine rows, so I have stuck more to the DBs, but other than that I don't really know what the deal is.
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