Either your goal is to lose a few pounds, increase your resistance in the bench press or just feel better, the gym (and more specifically the part where you can find dumbbells, bars and other nice and bright elements) is a very good place to start.
Infinity of people already lift weights daily, although some may cause more harm than good. It is not that there is any contraindicated exercise, those that may be contraindicated are those who practice the exercises. Put another way, and using a common example, not everyone can enter the gym on their first day, place a bar on the floor and lift it. There are many factors (history of training, injury, mobility and postural defects) that come into play and can affect the safety of movement, not to mention its effectiveness.
But it's not just beginners who should worry about choosing their exercises. Many of the most common exercises, performed both by experienced and by beginners, have the potential to produce injuries at some point.
Just as there are healthier alternatives to certain foods, there are some for certain exercises that offer not only the result you are looking for, but also the safety you need as you progress toward your goals.
Repeated bending, which is what happens when you do crunches or situps, is the exact mechanism that produces herniated discs.
Bench presses, bench dips
Designed to work the triceps, the muscles in the back of your arm, bench dives are often done in gyms. What is not very well known, however, is exactly how much your shoulders can beat this exercise.
Bench dives are performed by placing the arms behind the body with the palms on it. In technical terms this means that you are placing the shoulder joint in maximum extension and internal rotation, which decreases the subacromial space. This often causes irritation in the rotator cuff.
From there, with your feet on the ground, you lower your body and raise it repeatedly with the idea of toning and developing your triceps. And during all the time that you are doing this exercise, you are working your shoulders enormously.
A much better option is the press with tables and Bret Contreras, a certified specialist in strength and conditioning and author of the electronic book "Advanced Techniques in Glutei Maximi Strengthening" (Advanced techniques for strengthening the gluteus maximus), agrees. Presses with boards, he says, "are undoubtedly one of the best exercises to develop solid triceps like a rock.As you are decreasing the range of motion, the bar must move and concentrate almost exclusively on the upper half of the movement and you are actually forcing the triceps to carry a larger portion of the load. Moreover, it is much more benign for the shoulders. "
To prepare the presses with boards, take two or three pieces of wood of 2 x 4, between 12 and 24 inches long and stick with tape or place staples for Now place the board under your shirt, or even better, have a training partner hold it over your chest, then continue as you would normally in a bench press.
Pick up the weights and then lower the bar, making sure to leave the bar "sunken" inside the table, pause for one or two seconds, then return the bar to its place, make the desired number of repetitions, often eight to 10 repetitions are enough.
Do the leg curls on the sliding board, not the typical ones.
Do you know that device in which, either lying on your stomach or sitting on it, Do you flex your legs towards your butt? Those are the leg presses. As well as training specialists get rid of compliments about this exercise and ideally it is to strengthen the hamstrings, it is really a waste of time.
In his book "Advances in Functional Training: Training Techniques for Coaches, Personal Trainers and Athletes" (Advances in functional training: training techniques for instructors, personal trainers and athletes), world-renowned strength coach Mike Boyle states: "The hamstring group, a secondary hip expander, is still being trained erroneously in nonfunctional configurations.In any locomotor activity, the function of the hamstring group is not to flex the knee, but to extend the hip."
Boyle goes on to say that "exercises such as leg flexes train muscles in a pattern that is never used in sport or in real life."
In fact, the tendency to train the hamstrings in a non-functional way could explain the almost epidemic occurrence of hamstring sprains in sports professionals, as well as in daily activities such as improvised basketball, recreational softball leagues and in jogging.
The glutes are the most powerful hip extensors in the body; The hamstrings are the second in importance. As we usually do not do much more than sit on our buttocks, these are often weaker than a damp paper towel. Therefore, it is important to make movements that strengthen them as well as the hamstrings.
One exercise that can do this is the push-ups on the gliding board popularized by Boyle.As during this exercise the knees remain flexed, the hamstrings can not contribute much and the glutes are forced to become the main actor.
To perform the leg flexes on the sliding board, lie on one with your knees bent and your feet resting on it. Perform a simple hip lift; that is, lift your hips off the floor and contract the glutes. From there, while you make sure to keep your hips up, without letting them touch the ground, straighten and extend your legs and then slide them back until you return to the starting position.
You will notice that your buttocks are forced to contribute in order to keep your hips in extension, while your hamstrings work both to resist the extension of the legs and to produce the flexion of the knees. And this is the reason why this exercise is so good.
It's much harder than it sounds. And in many cases, the hamstrings could suffer from cramping due to the fact that the glutes are not doing their job. If this happens to you, start with the hip lift and then slowly straighten your legs as much as you can without allowing your butt to touch the ground. Finally, lower your hips, slide your feet until you return to the starting position, raise your hips and repeat.
Ideally, perform two to three sets of 10 repetitions.
If you do not have access to a sliding table, you can use sliding furniture or even a towel under your feet to achieve the same effect.
Make Pallof press (Pallof press), not sit-ups or squats.
Why are my hamstrings cramping?
It is not uncommon for the hamstrings of the most trained to cram when they perform the leg presses on the sliding board. But why does it happen?
Cramps often occur when the muscle tries to shorten in an unfavorable position. With the leg presses on the sliding table, for example, when the knees are flexed, the hamstrings are already shortened and are unable to produce the force necessary to hold this position with little lever, the extension of the hip.
To complicate the situation, remember that the buttocks are the most powerful hip extensors in the body, with the hamstrings being second in importance. Whether due to sedentary work habits, inactivity or a poorly designed exercise program, the glutes are generally weak. When performing the leg presses on a sliding board, then the hamstrings are forced to take over. As a result of this, these, which normally collaborate with hip extension, are acting as main engines. This is how cramps appear.
To avoid cramping, strengthen your buttocks and have them work the way they are supposed to.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to incorporate series of butt bridges in your daily training.
To make the bridges, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet pointing forward. Pressing the heels, raise the back of the floor about 6 to 8 inches and contract it as much as you can for two to three seconds. Return to the starting position and perform a total of 10 repetitions. Try to get to the three to six series distributed throughout the day.