Wilderness Sports Conditioning
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Low Cable Deadlift
Featured in Sports Etc.'s Water Sports Edition
Are you eager to fine-tune your exercise routine to prepare for a fun, injury-free summer of windsurfing or water skiing? Try adding this compound strength training exercise that targets the major muscles in the lower back, upper back, glutes, legs, and gripping muscles of the forearms. As always, make sure you have warmed up and stretched for 5-10 minutes before trying any new strength training exercises.
What is needed: adjustable pulley system (use pulley cable stack or a seated row apparatus) set on low with long (lat pull) bar attached. Home option: Resistance bands, inner tube, or surgical tubing looped under something heavy, like a sofa, with broom stick or dowel looped under knot as the bar.
How to perform it: stand facing low pulley with feet about shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, and shoulders back. Start position: squat down and grasp bar with palms down, hands shoulder width apart, and back straight as shown. Hinge forward at the hips rather than rounding the back, and keep your butt low and abdominals tight in order to support the lower back. As you exhale, press down with your legs and raise your torso upwards, keeping your arms straight and hands underneath the shoulders. Finish position; stand upright with shoulders back and down, legs, arms and back straight, and hands at hips. Reverse movement by hinging at the hips and lowering bar back to starting position, keeping back flat.
How to include it: Perform 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions with about 1 minute of rest between sets. Since this works large muscles and requires more balance and stability than other machines or free weight exercises you might be using, complete this relatively early in your strength routine while you are still fresh.
How to increase intensity: Once you get comfortable with this exercise, try 1) doing it barefoot, to more closely simulate standing on the board; 2) performing it standing on one leg at a time (with a greatly reduced weight) for challenge to all the smaller stabilizer muscles in your ankles, hips and legs; 3) pulling slightly to the side of the body, to strengthen the rotational oblique and lower back muscles required in water skiing and windsurfing.
Before beginning a new conditioning program, consult your physician. Remember to perform strength training moves for the whole body at least twice a week, allowing 48 hours of recovery time between sessions. If you currently suffer from any chronic lower back soreness or other sport-related injury, consult your doctor, physical therapist, or strength and conditioning coach.
Courtenay Schurman, MS, CSCS, is co-founder of Body Results (www.bodyresults.com), a Seattle organization specializing in strength and conditioning training for outdoor athletes. If you have any training questions, contact Courtenay at (206) 200-2050 or email@example.com. Copyright 2000.
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