Charles Glass recently shared some crucial details of back training that can help making gains and prevent training injuries as well. Back training is a crucial aspect of leading a healthy and fulfilling life. In the modern world where most of us are leading sedentary lives or do jobs that require us to sit for long hours, back pain and poor posture resulting from weakening of back muscles is a major health concern.
To maintain overall health, perform everyday tasks and athletic endeavors, a strong and healthy back is of utmost importance. Most of you may be aware of this and some may even have started training to maintain their fitness levels. However, it is essential to train with correct technique to get the most out of your workouts. Additionally, avoiding training injuries is also a huge part of staying healthy. This is where expert advice comes into play and who can help you better than the Godfather of Bodybuilding Charles Glass?
The legendary bodybuilding coach is one of the most respected figures in the fitness community. Over the years, Glass has trained bodybuilding legends like Flex Wheeler, Kai Greene, late Shawn Rhoden and Dexter Jackson to name a few. His training methods are widely appreciated in the bodybuilding industry even today. The 72-year-old routinely shares bodybuilding tips through his social media content.
In the recent video posted on his YouTube channel, Charles Glass shared the techniques to make back exercises more efficient for maximum gains. Latissimus dorsi, commonly referred to as lats, are the large muscles that occupy a large portion of the back. It is also the muscle that’s responsible for creating the wide back look that tapers down towards the waist.
In conjunction with the teres and pectoral muscles, lats help perform arm movements. Exercises emphasizing the lats were the focus of Charles Glass’s video. So without further delay, let’s check out what the legendary coach has in store for us today.
Charles Glass shares back training tips
Correct form for lat pulldown
Lat pulldown is probably the most recognized and effective exercise to stimulate the latissimus dorsi muscles. This simple vertical pulling movement is utilized in gyms around the world. But simpler the movement, more likely it is for people to ignore the form.
Charles Glass suggested a few simple modifications to the form to stimulate the upper lats:
- Leaning forward slightly by pushing the chest out
- Raise the chin by tilting the head backward
- Pull the bar down so that the arms are horizontally aligned at the shoulder level
- The movement should mimic the action of pulling the bar and chest towards each other
“Most people are afraid to put their head back, you know. They always put their head forward. But just look at the bar and let it pass the chin, it goes right to the lat.”
Utilizing too much grip strength has two potential downsides. The grip might reach failure before the target muscles and it can engage the forearms into a movement to a greater degree, taking the tension off the target muscles. The legendary coach further advised that you should hook the bar with your fingers and not grip it tightly to direct the focus on the back muscles.
“The minute you start to (grip the bar tightly), it’s (the forearm) that takes the blunt right there,” the Coach stated.
Charles Glass insists behind the neck lat pulldown is not a bad exercise
Many people are afraid to incorporate behind the neck lat pulldowns in their training routine because of the potential risks like shoulder injuries and its impact on posture. But almost no exercise is harmful when it is done the right way. Behind the neck lat pulldowns can help you build a strong back and Charles Glass explained the rules that you need to follow for achieving this.
Godfather of Bodybuilding insists on leaning forward while performing this exercise and states that the extent to which you pull the bar down plays a crucial role in injury prevention.
“Tension is what you want. Most people when they do, that happens when you do them behind the neck. ‘Oh, that’s bad for you’. Yeah, if you pull it down to your shoulders. But you should never pull to your shoulders. Mid part of the head, let’s go, stop there and contract. That works. But when you start trying to pull all the way down, you can get injured No matter what you do,” He explained.
Charles Glass shares a great alternative to Hammer Strength high rows
This exercise is not a mere option where the Hammer Strength high rows machine is not available. Instead, it is a great alternative to the machine. According to Charles Glass, the cables allow the freedom to pull the weight in a wider range of motion. As a result, the contraction in the upper and mid-back muscles is significantly higher than the machine rows.
The legendary coach also reiterated his must-follow guideline on keeping the shoulders down. Many people have the habit to instinctively lift their shoulders and engage the traps. According to Charles Glass, keeping the shoulders down directs the tension towards the lats without letting other muscles compensate.
You can watch the video below to see Charles Glass and his associate discuss these bodybuilding tips, courtesy of Charles Glass YouTube channel: