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Pulling With the Back

My third son works out every day at 24 Hour Fitness. He is in great shape. So I asked him to help modify my weight routine, since I had plateaued with the routine I have followed for the last year or so.

Today he was explaining bent over dumbbell rows to me. This is where you lean on a bench and pull up a dumbbell with one hand. There is a good photo of this here.

Dumbbell rows are a pretty simple exercise and I had done them already. But my son explained today, "try not to pull up with your arm, at first pull with your back."

By pulling in this way, the back muscles are exercised. I tried it an realized that I had been pulling incorrectly just using my arm.

Here is the point. Once I started pulling with my back muscles, I realized that it feels just like hikite (pulling hand). When you punch, the hand you pull back to your body is the hikite.

You could pull using your arm muscles, but this would be wrong. You need to pull with your back and lats, just like the dumbbell rows. This is in keeping with the saying that "you punch with your back" (as opposed to your arms, chest and shoulders).

Lifting weights makes it easier to feel isolated muscle groups.

If you can learn to pull with you back and lats, your Karate movements will be much stronger and more stable. In essence, you will be pulling with your body rather than just your arms.


Charles C. Goodin