Just about every athlete could benefit from a stronger back, but the equipment necessary can be out of reach for some school budgets.
Back machines and sets of heavy dumbbells are expensive and can deteriorate fast with multiple teams using them regularly. Even if you are fortunate enough to have them in your weight room, it isn't safe to have dozens of athletes rushing to use them. Your best tool is also perhaps the most simple: a pull-up bar. Almost every weight room has multiple racks with pull-up bars, and they work the entire back in short order. Here are a few ways to get more out of that simple bar.
Begin with 15 seconds on the concentric (pulling up) portion of the Pull-Up and then lowering down (the eccentric portion) for another 15 seconds. When one rep is done, the next athlete should be ready to get on the pull-up bar.
Add reps first and then add more time to the concentric and eccentric portions of the lift. Once you master multiple reps at 30 seconds up and down, then you can add more resistance with bands, weighted vests or weighted belts.
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Improved Leverage Tri-Set Back Blaster
Start the set with wide grip Pull-Ups. Perform as many good reps as possible, then go straight into the next part of the tri-set, supinated (palms facing you) Chin-Ups for as many reps as possible, then go straight into parallel grip Pull-Ups without resting. By the end of the set you will have performed more reps than you could have by using only one grip. That's more volume and more reps, which means more strength.
Iso Pause Method
This method is for advanced lifters or for a competition. The exercise is very taxing on the back muscles and nervous system and shouldn't be performed for more than one muscle group per workout. Time under tension and isometric pauses produce a hormonal response that makes you stronger for your next workout. You're holding your body weight, and your objective is to prevent it from going down. Your intent is no longer to move the load but to prevent its movement.
Perform a pull-up set to failure, and then have a partner assist you up to the top position, where the iso pause method begins:
Hold statically at full contraction for 6-8 seconds, then lower.
Hold statically at mid-range for 6-8 seconds, then lower.
Hold statically a few inches from the starting position for 6-8 seconds.
This method should translate to increased strength gains for the next back session.
This article originally appeared on STACK.com: 3 Challenging Workouts You Can Do With a Pull-Up Bar