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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:25 am 
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I am doing a full body workout and trying to include my wife.
Upper body:
Pushups
Supine Rows
Pullups
DB Presses
Dips
DB Raises

Each exercise can be difficult if upper body is weak because most are body weight.

What would be the benefit if in each movement, the arms are kept straight and the shoulders shrugged/articulated in the forward/backward or upward/downward motion??

Will this help strengthen the position so that arm strength can build without struggling to hold the position throughout the rest of the body??

I hope I made sense.

Anyone experience this or anyone know what will result?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:00 pm 
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I don’t think I fully understand your question since each of the exercises you listed requires the arms to bend at the elbows and will require articulation of the shoulder.

If your wife is having problems completing a desired exercise, especially a body weight movement, there are many ways around that to assist her.

For Push-Ups, she can do Knee Push-Ups where she rests on her knees instead of her toes. This will make the pushups easier. If that is too hard, then she can do Wall Push-Ups where she faces a wall and pushes that way. The distance her feet are away from the wall will determine the amount of resistance she has to push. The further the feet out, the more resistance.

For Supine Rows, if possible, move the bar higher up and move her feet closer to the bar. This increases the angle between her body and the floor. The greater the angle (the closer her feet are to under the bar) the less resistance she has to pull.

For Pull-Ups, you can assist her. Have her grab the bar and bend her legs at the knees. Next, you hold her by the knees and help her do the Pull-Up. Or, put a chair under the bar and she can use her legs to push herself up and aid in the move.

For a DB Press, just get lighter dumbbells. If you can’t find ones light enough, then get a 2.5lb or 5lb weight plate. Or a use a bottle of water or a heavy can of food. A gallon of water weighs eight pounds, and a 2 liter bottle weighs a little over 4 pounds.

For Dips, do Bench Dips (but with feet on the floor and not on another bench) for Triceps, or Dips between 2 chairs for Chest Dips. When you do the dips, the closer your feet are to your body, the more you can use your legs to assist which decreases the amount of resistance in the move.

For DB Raises, as with the DB Press, find a lighter weight.

As she progresses, try to move the feet further out with each workout to make small increases in resistance on the bodyweight exercises.

You always want to use proper form on any exercises, especially when you are starting out and learning them. Proper form leads to better gains and less injury.

Does that make sense?


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 Post subject: Clarification
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:34 pm 
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Yes, all of what you have written is what I know as well. What I am asking is, "If shrugs are a good exercise for shoulders, then can the angle change for similar results, but how would it change?"

Like, with pullups... hang from bar and flex shoulders to raise and lower torso without bending arms.

For Pushups... remain in the up position and flex shoulders to raise and lower torso without bending arms.

Etc.

I have read some things about the idea of doing shrugs in a handstand position (basically just moving the torso through shoulder ROM, but not bending arms). They said it was an exercise to strengthen the shoulder girdle and work on body tension. I was asking about that possibility with weight from the various positions mentioned in my last post.

Does this help?

Thank you for your suggestions though. I am considering various possibilities.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:46 pm 
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Ah, thanks for the further explanation. No, doing that wouldn’t help much at all. In a Pull-Up, you need strong Lats, mid Traps, and Biceps. The movement you describe wouldn’t make you any stronger in a Pull-Up movement, but you would get stronger in that particular Shrug movement.

The Push-Up movement you described is typically done to work on the Serratus Anterior. It is done with a Barbell like this. It is sometimes helpful to do this exercise to correct a winged scapula, or you can do it if you're trying to add definition to that area of your body.

The handstand shrug you describe sounds like a regular free weight shrug, but they do a handstand in order to apply the bodyweight needed to work the upper traps.

Basically, to get stronger in a movement, you have to do that movement.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:10 pm 
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I disagree a bit here Chris. Paul Kelso wrote an entire book on the subject, the "Kelso Shrug System", which does involve doing a shrugging movement for the different exercises in CONJUNCTION with your advice above. For the bench, you would hold the bar in the lock out position, and shrug, with the chest, and move the bar upward.In the supine row, arms extended fully downward, shrug up with the upper back muscles, etc, etc. Kind of mixing martial overloads with the full movements you mentioned.
Tim


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:34 pm 
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Thanks for the info Tim! I’ve not heard of the Kelso Shrug System. Seems a bit odd to me....can you give a brief explanation of the premise? Kind of like how doing Squats enhances muscular growth in your upper body due to greater GH produced in Squats.

I found this on the net.
Quote:
Because the arms and other smaller muscles fail before the large muscles that are targeted by such exercises. My basic example of this is if you do a set of bent over rows to failure, and then from arms' length extend the set by doing a "shrugging" motion without trying to bend the elbows. Most folks can do 4-5 shrug reps before flaming out. I wrote a looong time ago that I believe deep-seated fibers that have not been exhausted by the regular exercise can be reached in this manner.

Is that all there is to it, or was there more in the book? It seems that it is a technique to give you a little extra on a lift you can already do by recruiting “deeper fibers” in said lift. I wonder how that applies to learning a lift where the large muscles aren't ready?

By the way, are there any exercise books you haven't read?!?!?! :lol: :grin:


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 Post subject: Deductive Reasoning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:17 pm 
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Pushups Supine Rows Pullups DB Presses Dips DB Raises

Thanks for the posts and considerations. If you look under the listing for Clavicular and Scapula Articulation it demostrates the muscles used to move the shoulder girdle in various directions.

Dips are shown as "Depression", so that helps answer.
Clapping Pushups are shown as abduction (I assume it is not the full motion, but just the adbuction that occurs).
In order for the shoulder girdle to move in the proper directions for development of strong Clavicular and Scapula articulation, some of the movements require fuller range of motion (The pullup, the DB Press).

Maybe I am answering my own question with your help, but what do you guys think??


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:30 pm 
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If I’m reading Kelso right, he is suggesting a sort of “forced rep” past the point of volitional failure. That is, you would do the exercise such as the Bent Row first for the regular number of reps to failure, then do the shrug movement at the end. The idea being that you have exhausted the primary movers and then you keep going and do the smaller shrug (kind of like a really small partial rep) in order to reach “deeper” less activated muscle fibers. The premise being if you train those “deeper” fibers after the primary movers are toast, then you are training those deeper fibers to help out next time on a fresh lift. This means the next time you lift, you have more muscle fibers to assist the primary movers in the fresh lift.

It’s kind of the same principle with a forced or partial reps in that you are trying to really blast the muscle fibers so that more are recruited next time which means you’ll be stronger.

I’m still a bit unsure as to if this will actually help you on an exercise where you can’t do a few reps to failure or even a single rep. It seems that this shrug technique hinges on the fact that your primary movers are already trained and strong enough to do the exercise for several reps to failure.

I haven’t read the book though; only the comments from Paul Kelso from the Dr. Squat interview that I posted. Maybe Tim has more info?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:54 pm 
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Chris_A wrote:
...

I haven’t read the book though; only the comments from Paul Kelso from the Dr. Squat interview that I posted. Maybe Tim has more info?


Paul Kelso participates in Dr. Squat's forum from time to time. You may be able to ask him questions there.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:33 am 
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Just thought I would add...

Doing OH shrugs or straight arm lat pull downs (just a shrug with the lat pull down) are great ways to hit the lower traps, which are typically neglected muscles :wink:

KPj


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:39 am 
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Just remembered about this Paul Kelso interview by Mike Roberston a few weeks ago,

http://www.robertsontrainingsystems.com ... 302008.htm

KPj


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:40 am 
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Chris, the idea he's getting across has been used in other ways as well. Yes, you take the lift to failure (if desired, and if planned) then use the way overload shrug movement to bring the large movers into play without having to use the weaker links of the chain. Back in the day, negatives were used for the same purpose. And, as KPJ noted earlier, shrugging a the end of a pushpres or jerk is widely practiced by the OL types for the reasons stated above. I'm not that sure of its value to bodybuilders, but can certainly help with overall strength improveent with specific lifts.
As to any books I haven't read, well, I'm sure there are a few, LOL. I spent the better part of my adult life shipping out to sea, both Navy and merchant, long before the internet, and bookstores and libraries were staples and provded something to do while out there.
Tim


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:17 pm 
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KPj wrote:
Just remembered about this Paul Kelso interview by Mike Roberston a few weeks ago,

http://www.robertsontrainingsystems.com ... 302008.htm

KPj


Thanks KPj!

In that article he says:
Quote:
But, none of my books are for beginners; they assume at least basic training experience on the part of the reader.

Ok, so I was right in assuming that the shrug techniques aren't designed to help you learn a lift. The techniques assume you can already do the lift and just want to get better at it.

It's interesting. I'll have to see if I can find a copy of his shrug books. This could be another nice tool for the exercise toolbox. Thanks for bringing it up Tim!


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