Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 season may have gotten off to a rocky start, but the man himself proves he’s as committed as ever to keeping himself in fighting-fit shape with this perfectly executed upper body workout.
Lewis Hamilton‘s Formula 1 season has yet to prove as successful as the past 8 years, in which he won 7 Driver’s World Championships and narrowly missed out on a record eighth in controversial fashion, but proving he’s not giving up yet, Lewis recently posted an upper body workout to help keep him in fighting contention.
Posting a couple of videos to his Instagram stories in the past 24 hours at the time of publishing, Lewis shows off some tricep extension exercises using TRX straps and a barbell bent over row performed with technique as impeccable as his racing.
Captioning the video “always pushing,” Lewis implies he’s prepared to do anything and everything to help see his fortunes turn more towards his favour, similar to how he decided to go on a long-distance run around Monaco before the French Grand Prix a few weeks ago.
So, what’s so good about Lewis’ upper body workout? Well, not only do both exercises serve to help build incredible muscle and strength but they’re also performed with perfect form, something many gym-goers could often overlook in favour of being able to lift as much weight as possible. Yep: that’s today’s ego lesson right there (you can try crushing your self conceits in the ice bath tomorrow).
WATCH: Lewis Hamilton performs an upper body workout with perfect form.
TRX Tricep Extension
The first of the two exercises in Lewis’ workout is a TRX tricep extension. This is similar to a triceps exercise known as the skull crusher but is performed standing up and using TRX straps instead of a bench and dumbbells, plate weight or barbell. It also uses just your body weight for resistance and, depending on where you position your feet can determine the level of difficulty.
To perform a TRX triceps extension, anchor your TRX straps to a solid surface. We, unfortunately, can’t see how Lewis anchors his, but we imagine they’re attached to a solid hook or ring on the wall. With the TRX straps anchored, adjust them to so that they hang just below your chest.
Grab the handles using an overhand grip and lean your body forward until you’re at least at a 45-50 degree angle from the floor. Ensure you keep your body and arms straight as you lean forward. Once you’re at the desired angle from the floor, bend your arms at the elbow so that your body continues moving towards the floor, until your forearms are at a 90-degree angle.
From here, using your triceps muscle, push yourself back up to the starting position, where your arms at straight. Repeat this process for 10-15 repetitions.
The closer your feet are to the anchor point, the more difficult the TRX tricep extension will be since your triceps will need to work harder to get you back into a straightened position.
In Lewis’ execution, he keeps his body straight with his core engaged and shoulders locked down throughout the duration of the exercise. If you’re unsure exactly how to perform it for yourself, just copy what he does and your triceps will be busting out your t-shirts in no time.
Barbell Bent Over Row
The barbell bent over row is one of the best back exercises you can do, although some may also view it as a full body exercise since it requires you to engage your lower body muscles to keep you stabilised throughout. But, for the most part, the bent over row recruits your lats, traps, rhomboid muscles and rotator cuffs.
Not only does performing this exercise give you greater strength in your back, but it can help to balance out your upper body if you perform a lot of chest exercises as well as improve your posture.
To perform the bent over row, add some weight to a barbell – make sure you start off with a lightweight to minimise the risk of injury. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and hinge at the hips to bend over and pick the barbell up with an overhand grip. The hinging motion is vital to performing this exercise correctly.
Your upper body should bend over, but your back should remain straight. Rather than bending your legs to squat down, push your backside out behind you to help with the hinge. Your positioning for the exercise should see your torso parallel to the ground and a slight bend in the knees.
With your hands gripping the bar, lock down your shoulder blades and pull – or row – the barbell up towards your chest. Once it reaches your chest (ideally you should get the barbell to touch your sternum) slowly lower the bar back down. If you can’t get the bar to touch your sternum, remove some of the weight until you’re able to do so.
You should also make sure to keep your spine neutral throughout the movement, along with your neck, so it’s best to remain looking at the ground (this is the only thing wrong with Lewis’ technique, as he does look up to look in the mirror for a second or two).
When you lower the bar back down, be sure to not let it touch the floor. In doing so, your back muscles are recruited for the entire movement, as they will also be working against the resistance of the bar during the lowering process.
In Lewis’ example, he keeps his back incredibly straight throughout, with his backside pushed out behind him. He also manages to get the bar to reach his chest on every rep. We would suggest he slow down the reps a little more, but otherwise, his form his excellent.
Bent Over Row vs Pendlay Row
The bent over row is incredibly similar to the Pendlay row, which was named after its inventor, Glenn Pendlay. The two movements are practically the same, with the main difference being that with the Pendlay row, you do allow the bar to touch the ground after each rep. This means, that with each new rep, you’re effectively lifting dead weight, so your back muscles are recruited far more to help lift the bar off the ground each time.
Lewis Hamilton recently finished second at the Hungarian Grand Prix and currently sits sixth in the Driver Standings with 146 points. The drivers will now head into the summer break, before returning on the 26th of August for the Belgian Grand Prix at the notorious Spa-Francorchamps circuit.