Do you Pull as much as you Press?
When I ask that question I am not talking about weight but volume (total amount of weight lifted). Does your program have at least a minimum 1-1 ratio of push/pull or are you one of those people who do far too much pushing?
It’s quite easy to become unbalanced and bias towards pushing style exercises because they are easier to preform than their pulling counterparts. If you think about it doing a 100kg Bench Press for 5 is much easier to do than a 100kg Bent Over Row – with good form. It is because of this and the fact that mirror muscles take priority for most people.
Apart from the aesthetic benefits of having a balanced posterior chain you will also find yourself sustaining less injuries. For each compound pressing movements you do you should do a compound pulling movement, it’s pretty easy to understand, however I would also advice going one step further and having one compound and one isolation pulling movement for each pressing movement you have. Having the extra isolation posterior chain movement will help increase the overall volume on your back and give you plenty of benefit in the long run.
If you are unsure of what movements you have at your disposal then this short list will help you. Please note you will not find the deadlift on the list as you should be doing this as a given.
Pull Ups (various grips, weighted or unweighted)
Snatch (power/muscle variations)
Clean (power/muscle variations)
Bent Over Row (various grips)
Single Arm Row
Reverse Flies (Cable, Dumbbell, TRX, all have variations)
I-Y-L-W Pulls (Cable or Resistance Band)
The above are simple examples of exercises, there are far more that you can find from doing some digging. A great book that has an amazing amount of exercise selection is called Keys to the Inner Universe by Bill Pearl, check it out.
If you record your training take some time to look back through your workout plans and see just how balanced you are in terms of volume. If it’s 1-1 then there isn’t going to be too much of an issue, if it’s less then you might want to add in some extra compound movements or perhaps an isolation movement or two.