Here are our new Exercise FlipBooks. The FlipBooks provide exercise anatomy and analysis to help improve the effectiveness and safety of weight training exercises.
The bent-over dumbbell row with both the neutral and pronated grips is a good substitute for the seated row for developing almost all of the back musculature. In this exercise you do not have to contend with the upper body moving forward and back.
The hanging leg raise is a great exercise to strengthen the lower portion of the abdominals and the hip flexors. It works both muscle groups in their mutual interactions.
The lat pull-down is a very effective exercise that is used for developing the upper latissimus dorsi to create "wings." The typical lat pull-down exercise has traditionally utilized a wide pronated grip. Today, however, many bodybuilders also use a narrow grip. When the exercise is done in this manner, different portions of the latissimus are worked together with other secondary muscles.
Most sports and occupations require working with the arms in front of the body. In time, this causes round shoulders and in some cases the appearance of a sunken chest. To counteract this tendency and to improve posture at the same time, the lateral prone raise with strict form, also known as the reverse fly, should be done. It uses the same muscles and actions as in the pronated grip seated row and bent over row.
Many individuals use their back in a back and/or hip extension movement when they do the seated row on a low pulley and when they do the bent-over row. This not only limits the muscular involvement, but it may also cause lower back problems, especially when the back is rounded. To prevent these problems and to do the exercise effectively, you should do the exercise with a stable body. Also, use both neutral and pronated grip attachments to get full development.
Many people do the seated calf raise (seated heel raise) in the belief that it develops both the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. However, this is not so. The gastrocnemius is not strongly involved in the seated calf raise.
One of the best exercises for development of the triceps is the triceps pushdown. When done with a rope or other implement that allows for rotation of the hands it becomes even more effective.