ABBEW GOES ASKEW

The unorthodox back training of Eddie Abbew
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British bodybuilder Eddie Abbew has been posing in the pros since 1999, a career that includes four top-five finishes and one Olympia appearance (2007). All the while, the perpetually smiling Abbew has done things his way. That includes some unorthodox ideas on training, with reps in the higher-than-average 12-20 range and exercises you probably aren’t doing.

Here Abbew tells you how to do three unique back lifts and he lays out a back routine that incorporates his idiosyncratic ideas.

ABBEW’S UNIQUE BACK LIFTS

* Incline bench rope pulldowns These are performed lying face-up on an incline bench. Grab the ends of an overhead rope and pull the rope down until your hands are on either side of your chest. You should feel these in the teres major, teres minor and upper lats.

* Smith machine bentover rows The Smith machine locks the bar into a straight vertical plane, and this allows you to focus only on the up and down motion. These are a safer alternative to free-weight barbell rows. Do them slow, pausing at each contraction to feel your upper back muscles.

* Bentover low cable rows Do these while in a squatting position with knees bent and back bent forward. From a full stretch, pull a short bar attached to a low cable into your waist. Focus on getting a maximum stretch on each rep so your lats are pulled out as wide as possible.

EDDIE ABBEW’S BACK ROUTINE

EXERCISE SETS REPS
Front pulldowns 3 12-20
Rear pulldowns 3 12-20
Incline bench rope pulldowns 3 12-20
Smith machine bentover rows 3 12-20
Bentover low cable rows 3 12-20
Back extensions 3 15-20

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