Build a Bigger Back With This Single Arm Breakthrough
The single arm break through is one of the most effective shoulder training methods. It’s not just because it works all your major muscles, but also because it strengthens the whole body. You don’t need any equipment or special skills to perform this exercise. Just grab something heavy (like a barbell) and do some pushups!
You probably already know that building up your upper back is essential for developing strong shoulders.
But what if you’re wondering: How does it work?
Well, let me explain…
In order to build up your upper back properly, you have to start with the basics. That means starting off with a good old pushup. These are great for building strength in other areas of your body too, like arms and legs. They strengthen the stabilizers in these joints which are responsible for controlling movement and preventing injury.
So why do they work so well?
Because they involve the core muscles. And the core muscles are very important for maintaining balance and stability throughout our bodies.
When you hold a plank position, your abs are engaged and holding the spine straight. Your glutes, hamstrings, and calves are working hard to keep your torso from falling forward or backward. All of these muscles are doing their job in keeping everything stable while you’re standing still.
But when you go into a full pushup position, things change dramatically! You now have to use your upper body muscles to keep your body stable. When you go down, your abs, glutes, and other muscles contract to prevent your body from going too far down. Then when you go up, these same muscles allow you to move back up to the start position.
Both your pushing muscles and stabilizing muscles are working hard! So pushups are great for strengthening the core muscles.
How does the Single Arm Breakthrough come into effect here?
There are many different variations, but the one I’m going to talk about now is one of the easiest to learn.
The exercise starts out just like a normal pushup. You lay face down on the floor with your arms straight out in front of you. From this position, raise your body up just enough that your hands are completely off of the floor. Then lower yourself down until you’re almost touching it.
The tricky part is raising yourself just enough that you don’t actually touch the floor. This is where single arm training comes into play. You can do this in two different ways:
1) Slowly shift your weight to one side until you’re raised up enough to clear the surface.
Then slowly lower yourself down on the other side. This is probably the easier method for most people.
2) Using your pushing muscles, raise yourself up one side at a time.
This is the more advanced method, but it’s also more effective in building up the stabilizing muscles.
Both methods are great for building up the stabilizing muscles in your shoulders and upper back. The first method (on either side) is good for beginners who aren’t ready for the second method yet. When you’re ready to advance, work your way up to the second method on both sides.
Here’s a video demonstration of the Single Arm Breakthrough method on both sides:
Lowering yourself down in this manner takes practice. It can be tiring so start out slowly and make sure to rest a lot in between sets. As you get stronger you can increase the pace and length of your workout sessions.
Proper Form Is Key To Success!
This exercise is just like anything else you would do in the gym. It’s important to have the right form or you could be doing more harm than good.
If you’ve ever seen “The 300” movie, you probably remember the scene where all of the guys were doing crunches while holding a huge rock above their chests. Well when it came time to perform the exercise, none of them could even lift the rock because their backs arched too much when they tried to lift it. This is an example of using improper form and not being able to get the most out of your training. And training is supposed to be fun!
As I mentioned before, this exercise primarily targets your core muscles. This is especially true when you do it in the manner that I described above. But since you’re holding a single weight (yourself) out in front of you, you’ll also be working your shoulders and back to some degree.
As with any new exercise, start out slowly and concentrate on perfecting your form. I want you to chose one exercise from this article and tomorrow I want you to come back and tell me how it went or if you have any questions.
I’ll see you soon!
(Find more workouts by Sam Christianson)
Sources & references used in this article:
Ten types of innovation: The discipline of building breakthroughs by K Ferrazzi – 2009 – Currency
Breakthrough swimming by L Keeley, H Walters, R Pikkel, B Quinn – 2013 – books.google.com
Jugaad innovation: Think frugal, be flexible, generate breakthrough growth by C Colwin – 2002 – books.google.com
Coaching, Mentoring and Managing: Breakthrough Strategies to Solve Performance Problems and Build Winning Teams by N Radjou, J Prabhu, S Ahuja – 2012 – books.google.com
The secret spiritual world of children: The breakthrough discovery that profoundly alters our conventional view of children’s mystical experiences by M Holliday – 2001 – books.google.com