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Friday, February 15, 2013


Before we discuss another exercise considered “dangerous”, how many of you are suffering or know people who are suffering from neck and upper back pain? How many of you can say that you don’t slouch? Do you know why you feel pain? Especially today with the sedentary lifestyle, sitting around over the computer or laying back while watching TV, besides from the results of degenerative diseases, injuries and stress, there are many cases of back and neck pain due to the slouching position.
The cause of pain in the back and neck are problems mostly affecting muscles from the Glenohumeral Joint (Rotator Cuff muscles – Refer to The Banished 1), Acromioclavicular joint (Trapezius and Anterior Deltoid), Scapulothoracic joint (Anterior Serratus and Traps again), and the Sternoclavicular joint (Pectoralis Major, Deltoids and Trapezius), and those that attach to the Scapula or Shoulder Blade (Levator Scapulae, Rhomboids Major and Minor) and muscles that are related to the shoulder blades movement (Latissimus Dorsi and Teres Major). Pain can result from injuries, such as whiplash, or repeated movement of the shoulder, even because of certain health conditions such as heart attack and diabetes. Today the most common cause of pain in the upper back and neck is long-term poor posture, prolonged periods of standing, bending along with twisting, while picking up objects, and stress factors.
Pain occurs when the natural equilibrium between the vertebras, disks, joints, ligament and muscles is compromised by the weakening or shortening of muscles causing tension in between the bones of the spinal cord. These can be treated with medication and extreme cases surgery, but resistance training should be the first option. With resistance training one can divert the pressure put on disks, joints and bones to the muscles. At first there is a need to improve the function of the muscle with rehabilitative exercises, such as stretching and isometric (static) contractions, and then strengthen it more with a program for back.
One of the exercises used for rehab and strengthening these muscles is the Rear (back of neck) Lateral Cable Pulldown. The questioning of this exercise is due to the extra external rotation of the shoulders when the individual leans forward (trunk flexion) when the bar is being pulled down deviating from a straight line. Leaning forward is due to the lack of flexibility of the shoulders which also causes its horizontal abduction, which could cause excess movement of the glenohumeral joint causing injury. Posture, spinal cord alignment, and paying attention to the movement of the bar is the main factor for this exercise, making sure that the bar travels in a straight line and no movement of the upper body. One way to do it correctly is to sit a bit forward on the seat and, make sure that with the movement of the arms there is no movement of the upper body or neck. Also when griping the bar the elbows should be at a 90ยบ degree angle.

You can hurt yourself doing any free weight exercise without the correct technique and form. So besides being a successful exercise for deep muscle strength of the back, and used for rehab treatment of Kyphosis (cervical slouching) and Scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spinal cord into an S shape, which can deteriorate into hunchback), it is an exercise that can be used for widening your back because its primary muscle target is the Latissimus dorsi, Infraespinatus, and secondary biceps and traps

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