The #1 reason men don’t achieve their muscle building goals is due to INJURIES. Hear are 5 exercise mistakes YOU SHOULD AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!
You come to the gym to exercise. You’re pumped and motivated. You grab that barbell, bend your knees, get all ready and all the sudden you feel a stabbing pain in your lower back. Now you’re hurt and it could take you weeks or even months to recover.
Which means your exercise goals are now on the back burner once again.
You can avoid this whole scenario by reading today’s article where I’m going to discuss the five biggest exercise mistakes that Ive seen day in and day out while training people over the last ten years.
Let’s Jump Right In with the first biggest mistake and that’s lifting things off the ground with a curved back.
Mistake #1 – Lifting With A Curved Back
Back injuries are one of the number one injuries that people experience from exercise.
Your back has a natural curve that you must maintain whenever you’re exercising and whenever your lifting weights or anything for that matter off the ground.
However, usually when people lift things from the ground they curve their back the opposite way almost like they’re doing a standing crunch.
Their shoulders drop, their chest comes forward and compresses into their abdomen and their back is left looking all slouched over.
As they hold that barbell in that position for deadlifts or for rows, the chance of injury to the lower back is very high because all the pressure is transferring to those lower vertebrae.
Here are the instructions I always give my clients to avoid this problem. Big butt and big chest.
What I mean is before you come down to lift the weight off the ground stick your butt out almost like you’re really trying to get it noticed.
At the same time stick your chest out in an exaggerated way, that’s what I mean when I say big chest and big butt.
Then been down and grab the weight from that position.
That Arc that you create by sticking your chest and butt out, you want to maintain that throughout the entire exercise.
So the whole time you want to try to see your chest in the mirror.
By maintaining this natural lumbar curve you’re going to avoid injuries whenever doing a bent over exercise.
Next big mistake is with squats.
Mistake #2 – Squats
I don’t even care if you don’t like doing squats as an exercise (which you should), but you should at least squat once a day so you should learn to do it right to avoid injuries.
The number one mistake people make when lowering themselves for a squat is they come up on their toes and their knees go way past their tow line.
Usually this is because people try to keep their back perfectly straight during the squat, they think that’s correct form when it’s not.
If you were to ask any one of these people to sit down in a chair they would never sit down the same way that they incorrectly do their squats, they would do a perfect squat into the chair.
So whenever you squat sit back on your heels. You’ll know that you’re doing the squat right if you’re able to tap your toes up and down while performing a squat.
So sit back on your heels and sit your butt back while keeping your chest up facing the mirror with your back maintaining that natural curve that we were talking about earlier.
Again, stick your butt and chest chest out, sit back on your heels and sit back.
It’s totally fine to bend the lower back a little bit as your balancing for a squat, in fact it’s part of the movement. Make sure you maintain that big chest.
Now like I said earlier a really easy way to start performing squats correctly is by starting with a chair or bench behind your butt and literally I just want you to sit down and stand up.
Don’t think squat down and stand up because then you’ll do it wrong. Literally sit down on the chair and stand up it’ll teach you how to do a squat correctly.
Moving on we have chest presses.
Mistake #3 – Chest Presses
Whether it be dumbbell or barbell people are making mistakes.
The major mistake that I see especially beginners making with the chest press is not flaring the elbows out.
When you come down for your chest press your elbow should be at a 45 degree angle from your body.
You don’t want them flared too far out cuz that’s going to put extra unnecessary pressure on your shoulder and you don’t want them squeezed too tight to your body.
Usually the mistake that beginners make is the ladder, they squeeze their elbows too tight to their body and they end up doing a chest press that doesn’t really involve their chest much at all.
Instead they’re mostly using the front part of their shoulder (the anterior deltoid) and their triceps.
Usually this bad form goes hand-in-hand with wrists that are hyper-extended, meaning that they’re bent too far back.
Now the best advice for this situation is to drop the weight and to retrain the pattern for your pressing.
Beginners will typically have a lot stronger shoulders and triceps than their chest that’s why they end up over using those muscles instead of the chest during the movement.
Again we’re aiming for 45-degree angles and neutral wrists, neutral not hyper-extended.
Mistake #4 – Standing Overhead Press
Next on the list is the standing overhead press or the standing military press.
The mistake that you’re making is arching your back too far out when doing overhead presses.
This puts pressure on the top part of your back next to your cervical vertebras and your lower back next to the lumbar region.
It acts in a way where the top part and the bottom part is trying to almost fold together putting all the vertebrae in between, especially in the middle part of your lower back it puts them under a lot of pressure and this can once again lead to a back injury.
A lot of times the problem is not due to a lack of core strength (even though a lack of core strength could very much be the problem).
So make sure that you rule that out by strengthening your core.
The bigger more common problem tends to be a lack of range of motion in the shoulder joints.
A great way to test out your shoulder mobility is by standing with your back against the flat surface like a wall with no weight in your arms.
You’re gonna place your arms against that same wall in a shoulder press position then you’re gonna start working your hands up over your head while trying to keep your entire back against the wall.
If you notice that your back starts to curve up off the wall midway through your press hen you have shoulder mobility issues.
The issue stems from a chest that’s too tight pulling your shoulders forward and even tighter lats pulling your shoulders down.
A great stretch for your lats is just to hang on the pull-up bar. Another great stretch is done by holding on to a stationary barbell with your elbows straight out while bowing down your upper body.
A great stretch for your chest is done by finding a doorway to put your elbows against at a 90 degree angle from your body and leaning through that doorway until you get full shoulder mobility.
I would stay away from standing overhead presses because you can very easily hurt your lower back.
Mistake #5 – Behind The Neck Lat Pulldowns
The very last exercise that some people just don’t seem to understand is wrong is the behind the head presses and pull downs.
Most trainers will tell you that there is no mechanical advantage to going behind the head for any of your exercises. Not only does it increase the risk of injury but it can also be more of a disadvantage than anything.
Sure enough after doing some research I found out that this is hundred percent correct and I never did another exercise behind my head ever again.
When you lift weight behind your head you externally rotate your shoulders past the point that they’re supposed to be. Loaded with weight right away this can lead to a shoulder injury, but that’s not all due to the fact that most people have poor shoulder mobility.
Like I just talked about, you wind up curving your back out in an attempt to get the weight behind your head. This once again increases the chances of a lower back injury.
Now normally when someone would say, “well if this exercise doesn’t bother me and it bothers you then you shouldn’t do it but I’m gonna keep doing it.”
Normally when someone would say that I would agree, but not in this situation.
The problem is that by going behind your head you’re taking a mechanically disadvantageous position, meaning you won’t have the same power that you would have had if you just kept your arms in front of your head.
To begin with this translates to you using significantly less weight than what you’d be able to do if you just kept your arms in front of your head, meaning you’re gonna be building less strength and less muscle over time, but hey if you want to look cool while doing an exercise wrong then by all means have at it.
That’s it guys! If you enjoyed this article make sure you leave a comment below!
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