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Legendary master trainer and Optimum Nutrition athlete Charles Glass recently stopped by the Muscle & Strength HQ with physique competitor Qaden Lee to drop some knowledge on exercises that optimize muscle gain.
In today’s episode, Charles and Qaden give us some adjustments to three popular back movements to help you add width to your lats and mass to your low back.
Charles likes to do lat pulldowns behind the head because it incorporates more back muscles than other variations. The important thing to remember, and something a lot of lifters overlook, is you want to make sure not to pull too low during the movement.
To prevent incorporating your shoulders into the movement (and risking injury), stop just below the ears.
When you reach just below your ears, really focus on contracting your lats before returning to the starting position.
The next exercise Charles and Qaden cover is the seated cable row. As Charles mentions, there are several different grip variations you can use with this exercise. The two start off with a close grip handle.
After a few reps, Charles notices that Qaden is struggling to get a good contraction at the top of the movement. Charles states it is probably due to his height and swaps out the handle for a wider grip.
The wider grip allows taller athletes to easily get a full extension and contraction with the movement.
With this exercise, it is important to pull with the back and not the arms. Charles says this is a problem he sees more and more with gym goers.
For the final back exercise, Charles and Qaden go over the deadlift. The deadlift is a muscle building staple and can be done with or without the use of a belt.
To start the movement, bend down from the knees, keep your back straight, core engaged, and bring the weight up close to the body. When lowering the weight, make sure to drop your butt while keeping your back straight.
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