21s: Check Your Weight Lifting Technique
With the proper understand of the human body and exercise in general, the ways to train yourself are limited only by common sense and your own imagination. And following suit, I’m sure that you have heard all kinds of opinions and theories about not only how to train but what you should be doing.
The following technique isn’t so much about what you should be doing, but what you can do to really get the most out of any range of motion that you are doing. However, it is physically exhausting and should only be done on occasion to make sure that your muscles get plenty of rest.
The following lifting technique is known as “21s“. The name itself has to do with the number of repetitions that you will be performing per set, but it is a little more complicated than doing 21 reps. While I have gone over focusing on the negative portion of a movement, this technique has to do mainly with the positive portion.
It involves splitting the exercise of your choice into two halves. Do the first half of the movement seven times, then the second half of the movement seven times, and finally the entire movement seven times to finish out one set. Let me explain it in terms of a specific exercise.
Tricep Pulley Pushdowns
It doesn’t matter which attachment you are using for this exercise (rope, straight bar, EZ curl) just make sure to check your form. First of all make sure that you are keeping your elbows locked at your sides, the only parts of your that should be moving are your forearms and possibly your wrists depending on the attachment.
– First 7
Start off by keeping your hands at the top of the motion, your hands shouldn’t go above your nipples, doing so will take the emphasis off your muscles and force you to incorporate momentum. Lower your hands until your forearms are parallel to the ground, that’s all the further you should be going for your first seven reps. These seven will work as a warm-up and pre-exhaust before you have to go into full contraction.
– Second 7
As you finish your first set of seven, your arms being parallel to the ground will be the new top of your moment. Extend your arms to full extension and raise back to parallel, this will force a constant contraction in your muscle throughout these seven reps.
– Final 7
Your final seven reps are full movements starting at your nipples and going to full extension. At this point your muscles will be pre-exhausted and you will be incorporating the most out of all of your muscles fibers. You will not be able to use your standard weight on this movement, so make sure that you take into account the fatigue factor.
Do reps in this fashion will ensure that you are getting the most out of your range of motion. To make it even more difficult and beneficially, slow down the negative on each rep to really get the most out of your time and effort. Just make sure to leave your ego at the door, because you aren’t going to throwing around the big weights 21 times without sacrificing form.
This type of training can be done on any exercise you choose. Just make sure that you have thought out ahead of time how you will dividing up each movement. Depending on what you are doing, especially freeweights, you will probably want to utilize a spotter to make sure you keep your form and maintain your safety as you hit muscle failure.