March Madness Training: The Box-Out, Rebound Body
Rule the paint with these compound, big movement exercises.
Pull-ups are the true test of upper body strength. They should be the primary vertical pull in most strength programs. In addition to increasing strength in the back and arms, the pull-up is a great exercise to improve upper back and shoulder mobility. The pull-up is often neglected because it’s hard. However, a pull-up can be easily regressed as we discuss below.
5-8 sets x 5 reps 1-2 minutes of recovery Set-up position: 1. Start from dead hanging position (elbows extended) 2. Tuck the chin (make a double chin) 3. Brace your torso and squeeze your glutes Upward phase: 1. Initiate the movement with your shoulder blades (retract and depress) and drive your elbows down 2. As you pull keep accelerating with as much force as possible and squeeze your shoulder blades together and down toward your back pockets 3. At the top of the chin-up make sure you pull to the top of your chest Downward phase: 1. As you descend (eccentric) grip the chin-up bar as hard as you can and keep your torso braced 2. Finish the movement from the start position (dead hang)
The torso should be trained for stability rather than movement. Rather than endlessly rotating, flexing and extending the torso we advocate strengthening the muscles of the torso to keep the low back in a stable position. Movement of the limbs, upper back, and hips should take place around a stable midsection. The rollout is a terrific anti-extension movement that will aid in building impressive torso stability.
Barbell Roll Out
3-5 sets x 8 reps 45-90 seconds of recovery Set-up position: 1. Place the feet underneath the hip and hands underneath the shoulders 2. Brace the torso (squeeze the abs and lower rib cage) 3. Lower and upper back arched (extended and neutral position) 4. Place the hands slight wider than shoulder width on the barbell 5. Feet off the floor (do not cross) and toes pointed up towards the knees Outward phase: 1. Begin the movement by pushing the hips forward into extension by squeezing the glutes 2. Keep the torso braced 3. Simultaneously roll the barbell forward and allow the arms to go overhead and place your head in between the elbows 4. Keep the feet elevated in the air and try to maintain the knee position Inward phase: 1. Roll the barbell back to the set-up position by bracing the torso and squeezing the glutes (don’t think about using your arms to roll the bar back) 2. Keep the head in a neutral position (chin tucked) 3. If you feel the movement in the lower back then your not keeping your hips locked in (neutral) with the torso and glutes. Greg Robins NASM-CPT, RKC & Jamie Smith C.S.C.S. are trainers with Total Performance Sports in Everett, MA.