THE MODIFIED BACK SUPPORT...

This cool and convenient little move has many benefits: arm strength, flexibility, posture, and better straight-arm gymnastic holds for a start. It's not a classic compound lift, but a valuble part of making The Strength Sessions a well balanced and convenint programme. Do it like you mean it...

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HOW TO DO THE BACK SUPPORT:

MAIN FOCUS: Quality of position! -- I like ytou to stop and acknowledge that before you start. There's no point half-doing this one (or any of them really).

SIT YOUR BUM DOWN -- on the ground.

TURN YOUR HANDS OUT TO THE SIDE -- and place them just behind your bumbum.

ROLL YOUR SHOULDERS FORWARDS AND THEN BACK -- I like you to really feel the contrtast between the two positions before keeping your shoulders back throughout the move.

LIFT THROUGH YOUR STERNUM -- until your chosen finish position, focusing on openng the chest all the way.

DRIVE THE FLOOW AWAY -- keeping your arms locked-out and externally rotated throughout.

SQUEEZE YOUR SHOULDER BLADES DOWN AND TOGETHER -- crave muscle activation. You should feel your rear delts, rhomboids, lower traps and all that stuff come alive, then your chest and bicpes opening and stretching.

STAY. HOLD. WORK -- I don't like this done for long static holds. In my experience people get sloppy. I like you to get really good at repeatedly setting it up and lifting into perfect position. If you're doing it for pure strength: do 3 five-second holds. For Mid Strength: do 5 or 6 five-second holds. For strength endurance; 7 or 8 five-second holds per set. Pick the progression to match of course.

WHICH PROGRESSION?

We have six main progressions, shown here easiest to hardest. Strive to work your way through them but pay even more attention than usual to absolutely perfecting your position and control before you move to the next level:

HALF-LIFT, BRIDGED POSITION

FULL LIFTS, BRIDGED POSITION

HALF-LIFT, STRAIGHT POSITION

FULL LIFTS, STRAIGHT POSITION

HALF-LIFTS, ELEVATED FEET

FULL LIFTS, ELEVATED FEET

HOW NOT TO DO IT...

DON'T DO IT FAST & UNFOCUSED -- This one's more about the feelings than impressing people with your sets and reps. Go by feel, make it count.

DON'T KEEP YOUR ARMS FLEXED -- We need elbows locked-out. If you can't, either through lack of focus or through mega-tight chest and biceps. You'll need to work on your flexibility.

DON'T GO FOR TOO MUCH TOO SOON -- Which basically ends in the same error, poor position or not feeling the right stuff.

DON'T HALF-ARSE IT -- Enough said. Probably do it like you mean it please. Completely focus on getting as much out of these babies as possible and they'll be one of the most benefitial things you do in the whole programme.

WICKED CUES!

THE HOOK / BREAST PLATE THING -- You really must ensure you initiate this move by lifting the chest. I'm rather partial to imagining there's a crane above me and a hook attached to my sternum, then I imagine the move is initiated by the hook lifting the breast plate straight up.

STRETCH THE CHEST -- The more chest stretch you get, the better your position will be.

DRIVE YOUR CHEST INTO YOUR CHIN -- this helps remind you to lift the chest but keep the chin tucked. Chest up isn't chin up.

GET AWAY FROM THE FLOOR -- Keep pushing that floor away and trying to get your torso as far from the floor as you can to hit a better position.

WHY DO IT TO YOURSELF?!

POSTURE: SCAP RETRACTION AND MUSCULOSKELETAL BALANCE -- We need this in here to make sure we don't get to push dominant and desk postury. (I don't think that's a word is it?)

STRAIGHT-ARM STRENGTH -- This has good carry-over to all our straight-arm gymnastic moves.

CHEST AND BICEP FLEXIBILITY -- If you're too tight, you won't be able to do these well. Done with proper focus though, and you can use this to actually improve that flexibility.

GET LOVELY TONED ARMS -- All this posture talk...don't forget this is still an arm strength move!

DO IT ANYWHERE -- again -- as with most of this programme -- you don't need anything to do this, so it's mega-convenient.

ALTERNATIVES...

If you can't get on with these, I suggest you switch it out for either:

--> EXTRA BODY ROW STATICS

--> SOME KIND OF BAND ROW OR SCAP RETRACTION DRILL

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