No more epic gym fails!
Start the year off right by cleaning up some bad techniques in the gym and reducing the chance of injury. It’s easy to get caught up wanting to do some of the latest “fad” exercises. You know the ones you see pro athletes and ripped fitness pros doing on YouTube and on ‘The Gram’. However, buyer beware, as not all exercises were meant for everyone. Depending on your own goals, mobility, strength, and specific physical limitations, some exercises that might be good for a professional athlete, might not be good for you. Some are just downright dangerous!
Here is a list of some of the top gym “culprits” that have led to some seriously EPIC GYM FAILS:
The OH squat was made famous by Olympic weight lifters who compete in the Clean & Jerk and Snatch events of international weightlifting competition. It has also been popularized by the CrossFit games whose athletes have to perform these movements as part of the competition.
WHY WE WANT TO TRY IT – There is no better way to develop true “pillar” strength throughout your core and spine than lifting weight overhead.It also looks totally badass in the gym when performed correctly! Lastly who doesn’t want to look like Matt Fraser or Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet?
WHY WE SHOULD NOT – Most people lack the shoulder, hip, thoracic, and lumbar spine mobility to perform the exercise properly.This places at the top of the RISK vs REWARD category and has led to a TON of injuries in the gym.It also requires a great deal of shoulder, and back strength just to get into position.
WHO SHOULD DO IT – Competitive Olympic Weightlifters who compete, CrossFitters who compete, and/or individuals who have very high levels of strength, mobility and balance. Not to mention months of time to master the movement properly.
WHO SHOULD NOT – 99% of the world!
SAFER VARIATION – Overhead carries. Carrying weight overhead will give you nearly the same core and spinal development without the risk of injury.You can use a variety of implements from dumbbells, to kettle bells, and sandbags to keep your training fresh and fun.Use them as fillers in between exercises or as part of a “core” finisher.
THE KING OF ALL EXERCISES! There isn’t a meathead alive that does not dream of a big bench. It is the “benchmark” by which most casual gym goers measure themselves. Guys grow up seeing pictures and videos of their favorite sports stars and bodybuilders pumping out rep after rep. Arnold was famous for his 30-40set chest workouts! Who hasn’t seen Pumping Iron?!
WHY WE WANT TO TRY IT – The idea that a big bench will lead to a massive chest like Arnold of course! Not to mention TOP DOG bragging rights in the gym.
WHY WE SHOULD NOT – The bench press places tremendous stress on the shoulder and the biceps tendon.If done improperly it can lead to a variety of shoulder related injuries ranging from tendonitis, labral tears, and even ruptures of the associated musculature.
WHO SHOULD DO IT – Athletes, power lifters, and/or regular individuals who use proper form and have the mobility and strength to perform the movement pain free.
WHO SHOULD NOT – Individuals with any pre-existing shoulder, neck, or biceps injuries.Basically, every guy who as ever spent a lot of time in the gym!
SAFER VARIATION – Good old pushups.For most people pushups are a safe and yet challenging variation to benching.There is also a LOT less ego involved, therefore a lot less chance of injury.Push ups also allow you to customize your hand and body position to fit your body type and mobility.You can do them with a neutral grip and switch up your body position from flat to inline.
STANDING ON ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE GROUND! Functional training is a huge buzzword in the fitness industry. You see it everywhere from the magazines to the TV. The media is littered with people standing on everything from balance beams, to physio balls. I once even saw someone doing a single leg pistol squat on top of a kettlebell!
WHY WE WANT TO TRY IT – People want to do cool shit!They want everyone to look at them and say that would look great on Instagram.Also, we have been misled to believe that “functional” training must involve some complex logarithm of crazy exercises standing on one foot while holding a barbell and doing a Med Ball slam at the same time.Please tell me how some good old back squats are not functional and I’ll pay you to train me!
WHY WE SHOULD NOT – IT'S DANGEROUS!It should be clear as day, that if you are holding a weight in a gym where there are metal objects everywhere, if you fall you can get SERIOUSLY hurt.
WHO SHOULD DO IT – Maybe only Tony Hawk and Laird Hamilton, but even that’s a stretch.
WHO SHOULD NOT – EVERYONE who values their lives and limbs.
SAFER VARIATION – If you want to build functional strength there is no better way than basic lifts such as the squat and deadlift.Another great way is to carry a variety of objects such as sandbags, MedBalls & Kettelbells. Lastly, you can add a ton a variety using MedBall throws, battle ropes, and sled pushes to give your training that “cool factor” everyone is looking for nowadays.
Make 2018 your best year of training! The best way to achieve your desired result is to be able to train often. If your hurt, you can’t train. Try some of the above variations as replacements for some of the “culprits.” Don’t become an EPIC GYM FAIL!
- Coach Joe
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