Expanders

Topics that focus on building strength and muscle using old school and modern training techniques. Post questions, share training tips and programs.

Moderator: peter yates

Post Reply
Tom K
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:17 am

Expanders

Post by Tom K » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:48 am

Hello there,

I have been browsing the site and found a few good articles about the old fashioned spring cable expanders.

I have had great results from using the pullup daily to really improve my back. 5x10 of pullups daily coupled with 3 heavier rowing movements a week on a full body workout is really improving my back.

I was wondering for my lagging body parts, such as arms, and chest, would using chest expanders be useful in addition to the barbel work which doesn't seem to be promoting growth as much as I'd like.

Due to my experiment in daily pullup training really improving my back, I was wondering if daily "light" training for other body parts would do well and if cables could help?

Let me know your experience of expanders and if they are useful tool to build more muscle.

Thanks,

Tom
regpark_cableoutfit_oldtimestrongman.jpg
regpark_cableoutfit_oldtimestrongman.jpg (476.53 KiB) Viewed 8594 times

peter yates
Posts: 2406
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:38 pm
Location: NEW YORK, USA

Re: Expanders

Post by peter yates » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:18 pm

Hi Tom,i have been glad to see a recent surge in interest in expander training. Personally i have used them for well over 50 years and cannot say enough good things about them.At one time they were as utilized as BBs and DBs by bodybuilders and strongmen but seemed to fade around the 1970s with the advent of fancy machines.I have written an article about Jim Bartlett, head of one of the top strandpulling families in the world,which will be included in the July edition of H&S.A follow up article will document the whys and hows of expander training.I would encourage you to also go to the site store and purchase David's strandpulling notebook in E-book format.Full of interesting and historical facts,training routines etc.There have been a few who have developed fantastic physiques by using expanders as the primary tool,Brad Reid and Fred Rollon immediately come to mind,although most used them as adjunct training.You can certainly use them to work on weak areas and i feel they should have been called shoulder expanders as they really hit the whole region in a unique way.Arms and back respond exceedingly well also to strand work. A quick run down of expander benefits:
can be used anywhere
light and easy to transport
target areas less possible by other means
easy on joints
easy on recovery so can be used often
great for rehab,working around injury
specialize on weak points
combined with hooks can be used from many angles
for active rest to increase blood flow for recuperation
Also i have quite a few friends in their late 70s and 80s who no longer use weights but keep in tip top condition with a steady diet of expanders,body weight calisthenics and muscle control.Very effective and much kinder on older joints and recovery.So tom i hope i have encouraged you to make expanders a part of your training.I look forward to other members familiar with strands weighing in.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

sticksb
Posts: 1486
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:37 pm

Re: Expanders

Post by sticksb » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:10 pm

Personally I cycle training in to heavy , medium , and light days (Mon. Wed. Fri.)
Monday is dedicated to heavy compounds , Wednesday more of an overall bodybuilding
program and Friday (muscle spinning) trial and error and more of a lighter variety but
still serious workout . Cable training can be primary and comprehensive if you choose it.
I've relegated cables to Friday simply because that's the day I "wing it " .

peter yates
Posts: 2406
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:38 pm
Location: NEW YORK, USA

Re: Expanders

Post by peter yates » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:24 pm

Hi Tom,
here are couple of expander exercises you could do that specifically target the chest although the triceps and shoulders receive a fair share of stimulation too. You need a means of safely attaching one end of the expander about chest height.Stand with your back to the attached end, and take the handle in one hand palm inward,then push straight forward.Unlike a barbell the tension will be greater at the end of the push,hold for a couple of counts while strongly tensing the pectoral muscle.Repeat with other hand and go back and forth until all sets are complete.Try 3x10 to start then work out what is best for you.For the next exercise you will be side on to the expander with arm outstretched to the side.Have a slight bend in the elbow and pull the arm to the front and past the mid line,contract the pectoral hard for a two count and return slowly. Same as the forward push the tension is greatest at the end of the movement unlike lying flyes which have virtually no resistance in the top position.You can do this after your BB work or on another day,or as Chris recommends as a"light" training day.Hope this helps.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

Tom K
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Expanders

Post by Tom K » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:50 pm

I've no experience with this sort of equipment.

Is there anything to look out for when purchasing a set? Or a set you recommend?

User avatar
DannyBoy
Posts: 2085
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:09 pm
Location: Virginia Beach

Re: Expanders

Post by DannyBoy » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:22 pm

Tom K wrote:I've no experience with this sort of equipment.

Is there anything to look out for when purchasing a set? Or a set you recommend?
Hey Tom. Unfortunately most expanders these days are cheaply made and of poor quality, it's hard to find a brand new expander that's good quality. My best suggestion is to buy a vintage expander in good condition on eBay; brands like Spenby, Terry or Sandow are great. The prices typically aren't too bad either. Just search "chest expander" and go through the listings. eBay is where I've gotten most of my expanders. :)

sticksb
Posts: 1486
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:37 pm

Re: Expanders

Post by sticksb » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:01 am

Tom K wrote:I've no experience with this sort of equipment.

Is there anything to look out for when purchasing a set? Or a set you recommend?
Tom
Check out " Grunt & Shen's " workshop on the net ...

Tom K
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Expanders

Post by Tom K » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:48 am

I can see the sandow sets are very expensive, going for over £100 and sometimes only have 2 springs.

The terry sets are going for about £35 and seem to come with 5 springs.

What amount of springs is needed? How much force is needed to expand each spring in average? Is 5 enough for a weight trainer?

User avatar
David Gentle
Posts: 570
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:39 pm
Location: England
Contact:

Re: Expanders

Post by David Gentle » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:14 pm

Hi Tom, i think you will find if you look on our web site in store is our Strand Pullers Scrapbook, you will find just about everything you will need to know in this one encyclopedic book. Earlier you could get various poundage pulls and adjustable handles from Jim Bartlett but i think the family may well have retired, Peter would know. David Gentle
David Gentle
Chief Moderator
Author & Historian,
Physical Culture
https://davidgentle.com

Tom K
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Expanders

Post by Tom K » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:16 pm

I purchased the strand pullers scrapbook. Looks interesting. Some of the moves seem a bit odd described, but I'm sure once I purchase a set of good expanders they will make sense.

I was thinking that the overhead squat is amazing for the deltoids, but it is quite taxing on the back. With the expanders you could replicate that movement, but without the weight on the back. Also replicate some of the static holds that the gymnasts do on the rings, they have fantastic deltoids without weight training being the main stimulus.

I've bought too much on ebay this month, so when I get paid I will look into a set of the Terry's brand. I will try to add in a few sets on my non weightraining days from the gym.

Post Reply