Essential isolation work the support seven

10.99 ^ere are seven small areas that should not be neglected during the focus on the core movements. ^is support seven can have a big impact for keeping you free of injuries. ^e support seven is made up of specific work for the calves, grip, shoulder external rotators, neck, midsection, lower back (isolation work from back extensions additional to that from deadlift variations), and finger extensors (to balance the strength of opposing muscles in your forearms).

10.100 Midsection work is not just about the rectus abdominis. It is about the whole girth of the midsection. It includes work for the internal and external obliques, and for the small muscles around and between the vertebrae. Side bends are a major player in providing this important strengthening work, and there is some overlap with the recommended isolation work for the lower backā€”back extensions.

10.101 Exercise for the obliques has received unfair press over the years, based on the mistaken view that just a few sets with a light dumbbell would add inches of muscle to the waist girth. It takes consistent dedication to the side bend, and the building up to a poundage well over 100 pounds, for men, to add just a little muscle to your obliques. ^at extra muscle should be welcomed for the stability and injury preventing potential it adds to your physique. And so long as you are lean enough for your waist musculature to be seen, development of your obliques will add to the impressiveness of your midsection.

10.102 Aim to have your neck about an inch larger in girth than your upper arm. To do this you will need to add some neck isolation work to your training schedule. Without isolation work, however, your neck will still be worked enough from deadlifts and shrugs to make it bigger and stronger than it was before you started lifting weights.

10.103 ^e support seven do their important work by maintaining strength balance in the body. (^ere is also aesthetic balance, especially in the cases of calf, grip and neck work). Attention to the support seven is vital if you want to get big and strong. By themselves they will not make you big and strong, but they play an important role in helping to keep you injury free in the exercises that will make you big and strong. Without being able to train long-term, hard and progressively on the key multi-joint exercises you will never be able to get big and strong.

10.104 ^e support seven do not need lots of work, and can even be dropped for short periods. But they must not be neglected over the medium and long term.

10.105 On the other hand, do not get so carried away with the support seven that you get distracted from the big basics. If you do three sets for each of the support seven, and do it all two or three times a week, you will never make progress on the big exercises.

10.106 Following a warmup set do one work set twice a week, or two work sets once a week, on each of these important small exercises. Do not do all of them twice a week because that would probably undermine your progress elsewhere. And do not perform all of them at the same workout unless you have a single session each week exclusively devoted to the support seven. Perhaps the best way to cover the support seven is to do two of them after your first workout each week, another two after your second workout, and the remaining three on an off day. Specific grip work can be done each workout. But you do not have to do specific work to train your grip. Deadlifts, shrugs and pulldowns (or chins) done without any support gear other than chalk will build a strong grip.

10.107 ^is is all the work you need to train the support seven well, so long as you slowly add resistance as the weeks and months go by. ^is can be done without getting distracted from the focus movements, and without making a significant demand on your system except in the very final few weeks of a cycle. During the latter, when you are deep into new poundage territory in the major movements, temporarily either eliminate or severely cut back everything other than the major movements.

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