Powerful Back and Leg Workouts with the Total Gym Wing Attachment



Total Gym Wing Attachment Spotlight

How to Use the Total Gym Wing Attachment

The Total Gym Wing Attachment is a multi-use accessory for targeting muscles in the back, shoulders, legs and abdomen. It’s great for simple or compound moves and comes in two options: the single unit option and the two-piece option. Both have padded foot and handle bars for comfort. The two-piece unit offers greater range of motion, especially for people with wider shoulders. Both are easy to install and quite versatile.

When connected at the top of the gliderails, the Wing Attachment is used for pulling exercises in both the upper and lower extremities. If the Wing Attachment is positioned at the bottom of the rails, it can be used in pushing exercises to build the shoulders, chest and arms. In either position, the Wing Attachment provides a great ab workout. And, when combined with the pulley cable, you get an effective Total Gym workout that’s efficient if you’re short on time.

 

Vary Your Grip to Activate Different Muscles

Studies show that varying your grip in pulling exercises recruits different muscles in the arms. The biceps are recruited more during underhand grip chin-ups, whereas the triceps are used more during the overhand grip pull up. Other muscles targeted in chin-ups and pull-ups include the lats, traps, pecs and abdominals, including the spinal stabilizers.

 

Five Moves Using The Wing Attachment to Get You Started

 



All of these exercises can be performed without the pulley cable, so detach it from the glideboard. Install the Wing Attachment to the top of the machine for the first five exercises. Start at a lower incline if you’re a beginner and increase the incline as you gain strength.

    1. Pull-Up:

Lie on your stomach with your head toward the column. Position your hands on the Wing Attachment handles, palms down. Pull the glideboard up the rails until your chin is over the wing, and then slowly return to start position. Keep your chest and hips in contact with the glideboard and do not arch your lower back.

    1. Chin-Up:

Using the same body position as above, change your grip to an underhand grip with palms up. Pull the glideboard up the rails until your chin is over the wing, and then slowly return to start position. Chest and hips should remain in contact with the glideboard. Both pull-ups and chin-ups can be modified to a more challenging movement by using one arm at a time to pull. Remember to do both arms.

    1. Leg Curl:

Sit on the glideboard facing the column and place your feet into the Wing Attachment so your heels rest on top of the ankle padding and your toes hook under the handle grips. Lie back with your legs fully extended and your buttocks near the top of the glideboard. Bend your knees by pulling your heels toward your buttocks and squeeze your hamstrings. Keep your knees pointing up to the ceiling without letting them angle in or out. Don’t arch your lower back and keep your abdominals contracted throughout the movement. Slowly return to start position. This exercise can be performed while sitting up or lying flat on the glideboard.

    1. Inverted Crunch:

Sit on the glideboard facing the column and place your feet into the Wing Attachment as above. Lie back with your legs slightly bent and your buttocks near the top of the glideboard. Cross your arms on your chest or place your hands behind your head. Beginners can stretch the arms out in front of the body. Contract your abdominal muscles and lift your head and shoulders off the glideboard. Slowly return to start position. This exercise can be progressed by adding a torso twist to either side after you do the initial crunch. Or you can sit all the way up instead of crunching.

    1. Shoulder Press:

Move the Wing Attachment to the bottom of the machine. Lie on your stomach with your head away from the column. Place your hands on the wing handles palms down and arms straight. Next, bend your elbows until your hands are at or near your shoulders. Keep your chest in contact with the glideboard and don’t arch your lower back or hyperextend your neck.

 

Compound Variations to Maximize Your Workout

    1. Lying Leg Curl with Crunch: 

Install the Total Gym Wing Attachment to the top of the machine. Make sure the pulley cable is detached. Sit facing the column and place your feet in the Wing Attachment so your heels rest on top of the ankle padding and your toes hook under the handle grips. Lie back with your legs fully extended and place your hands across your chest or behind your head. While bending your knees and squeezing your hamstrings to move the glideboard up the rails, contract your abdominals and execute a crunch. Return the head and shoulders to start position as you extend the legs.

NOTE: The next five variations require repositioning the Wing Attachment to underneath the rails at the top of the machine. Make sure the handgrips are angled toward the support column. The exercises are performed in the seated position with the feet in the Wing Attachment so that the heels are resting on top of the ankle padding and the soles are against the handle grips (the toes are not hooked under the handles). Attach the pulley cable underneath the glideboard. Keep your chest lifted, your shoulders back and wrists flat through each exercise.

    1. Seated Leg Curl with Fly:

Grasp the cable handles palms facing each other. While curling the legs, pull the handles out to shoulder height.

    1. Seated Leg Curl with Straight Arm Lift:

Grasp the cable handles palms face down by your sides. While curling the legs, pull the handles straight up in front of you above eye-level.

    1. Seated Leg Curl with Bicep Curl:

Grasp the cable handles palms face up in front of you. While curling the legs, bend your elbows until your hands are near your shoulders. Keep your elbows in a fixed position throughout the movement.

    1. Seated Leg Curl with Upright Row:

Grasp the cable handles palms face down in front of you with your arms extended. While curling your legs, flare and bend the elbows and pull the handles up until your hands are at your shoulders.

    1. Seated Leg Curl with Surfer:

Grasp the cable handles palms face down by your sides. While curling your legs, press the handles with straight arms behind you until your hands are at or past your hips.

Jodai Saremi

Jodai Saremi, DPM, BS , is a freelance writer, AFAA certified trainer, and fitness model. She has written for American Fitness, SPIN fitness, Your Health Connection magazines, and other online publications. Her articles have also been featured in textbooks. She enjoys an active lifestyle and lives in Ventura County, Calif. with her husband and two children.

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