Monday, February 26, 2018

Reg Park Cable Course, Part One (1955)

From This Issue (January 1955)
Courtesy of Liam Tweed

Click Pic to ENLARGE

Note: It's come to my attention that so far this blog only has one Cable Training article! 

Thanks to the generosity of a few true Iron Brothers, we can repair that lack of info.
Hope you enjoy! 

Expanders are used all over the world. Famed strongmen such as Eugene Sandow, Charles Atlas and John Grimek have used them to great advantage in building their world famous physiques. However, the big drawback to expander training in the past has been the fact that almost all expander exercises were for the upper body -- particularly the arms and shoulders. This obstacle is still evident, in men who have built their physiques with expanders -- but in this and following articles I am going to illustrate how expanders can be used to develop all parts of the body -- even the legs. 

In the January issue, 1953 [turns out it was '54], I wrote an article entitled "The Importance of Cable Training"  which dealt with the advantages of expanders for home training and some of the exercises that can be performed with them.


Of course the great advantages of expanders are that they take up so little room and space, they can be put in any corner of your room. The amount of space required to perform the exercises is so small that everyone could use them practically anywhere. Further to this there is the question of finance and affordability.

Chest expanders (to use the more commonly used name) which consist of expander strands and handles do for the most limit your exercising to shoulders, triceps and chest. Exercises 1 to 5 as illustrated can be performed with any set of cables and are performed as follows:

Exercise 1.
Starting with the deltoids, which from the point of view of physical appearance are one of the most important groups, the first exercise is the alternate one arm press. Hold the cables as shown with the left hand as low as possible, and the right hand held at shoulder level. From this position keep the left arm straight and push the right hand press overhead to arms length, then lower and repeat another nine repetitions. Perform the same number of reps with the left hand. For shoulder development. 
Exercise 2. 
For the chest I prefer to start with the pullout in front, an exercise which I am sure you are all familiar with. The cables are held in front of the body at shoulder level and from this position, keeping the arms straight, pull the expanders outwards until they are touching the chest and return to the starting position. For chest and shoulders.
Exercise 3. 
The next group to be worked is the triceps, and the first exercise is the archer's movement which is one of the best triceps developers which has yet been found. From the starting position as shown, keep the left arm straight, pull the right arm outwards until it is also at arms length, then return to starting position. Be sure to keep the arm performing the movement at shoulder as this throws more work on to the triceps. For triceps development. 

Exercise 4. 
The second triceps exercise is the one arm triceps curl. From the starting position as shown keep the left arm straight and extend the right hand until it is overhead and lower to the starting position. For triceps development. 

Exercise 5. 
For the back the pull down from overhead is excellent. Hold the cables at arms length overhead, and keeping the arms straight, pull downwards until the strands are extended across the back, and return to starting position. For back and shoulder development.

The above are of course only the main exercises which can be performed.

Fortunately, the possession of a pair of foot stirrups -- so called because of the likeness to the riding stirrup -- permit you to perform further exercises for the shoulders and back but also exercises for the biceps, forearms, waist and neck. Some of the exercises you can perform with a set of expanders and foot stirrups are: 

Exercise 6.
The forward raise either with one or both arms. The expanders of one end are attached to the stirrup (or stirrups) which is under the foot -- with the handle (or handles) in the hand (or hands) resting in front of the thigh (or thighs). From this position keep your arms straight and raise your arm forward to shoulder level, then lower. You can do it one arm at a time or both together. For the shoulders.
Exercise 7.
Upright Rowing. Place the foot stirrups under both feet and rest the hands in front of the thighs. From this position pull the expanders, holding the elbows high until they are in line with the chin and lower. For shoulders and back.
Exercise 8.
Side Bends. This time you use only one foot stirrup, with the arm resting by the side. From this position bend the body to opposite side (keeping the hand with the expander in straight) using only the strength of the waist -- and then slowly return to the upright position. Remember to do it to both sides. This is for the waist. 
Exercise 9.
The Curl. This can be done with one hand or both. Place both feet in the stirrups with the hands resting in front of the thighs in the underhand grip. From this position  curl the hand or hands to shoulder level only and lower to starting position. If this is done with one stirrup remember to change hands. If it is done with both foot stirrups you can either curl them together or alternate, making for a little variety. For the biceps. 
Exercise 10.
The Reverse Curl. This is very similar to Exercise 9 but the hands are in the overhand grip. For the forearms.
Perform each of the exercises for 4 sets of 10 repetitions, using as many cables on each exercise as possible. Remember to breathe in before each rep and exhale on the completion of same. This routine should be performed 4 days per week for the best results, but if you are training with weights then only follow it twice a week.
You may argue that foot stirrups are not essential and that you can perform exercises 6-10 with expanders only by placing one of the handles under the foot -- but this restricts to performing them one arm at a time. I do not advocate performing exercises with handles under your feet as I have seen some nasty accidents caused by the round handles slipping out -- whereas with a foot stirrup this is very uncommon. 
In Part Two of this series I will tell you how to use expanders as a wall pulley and how to use them for specialized exercises.  


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