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3 Exercises You DON'T have to do in order to get strong

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3 Exercises You Don't Have To Do To Get Strong

 

       The world of health and fitness can be a beautiful place. Find yourself in the wrong gym or with the wrong crowd and you can end up injured. There's lots of unwritten "rules" in the weight room, of many which don't make a lot of sense or have already been debunked. You might hear things like "You have to do cardio fasted because it burns more fat", "You have to barbell back squat in order to grow your legs", or "Don't eat carbs after 6pm to lose weight". These unwritten rules are often regurgitated by people who don't take it upon themselves to try a new approach. They keep "training past the pain" because "that's what Arnold did". Being in the fitness industry for 10 years and in a gym for over 15 years. I can confidently tell you that if anybody is telling you to do something without any solid reasoning behind it, chances are they have no idea what they are talking about. To get the best progress out of your journey; it's all about you and no one else. You are constantly finding the best approach for you through trial and error. New comers can get under the belief that you HAVE to do squats for big legs, bench press for big chest, and deadlifts for a thick back. They unfortunately believe this because they've been told by someone who has no idea what they are talking about. Today we will discuss those 3 lifts and some substitutions you can do in order to make it the best approach for you. 

 

Bench Press - This exercise can cause more damage than good, if not done properly. When I see new comers perform this exercise. I often hear about shoulder pain for a number of reasons. They are maxing out too often, they don't know how to engage their lats on a press, they are doing too much pressing in general, or the barbell is not the best design for their posture. You don't have to bench press to have a big chest. Some good alternatives would be a dumbbell press, cable press, or machine press. These alternate exercises give your elbows and shoulders more freedom to get into a optimal position and they take stress off the joints so you can really isolate the muscle and feel it work. 

 

Dead Lift - For every 1 person who got a thick back from deadlifting, there is about 20 others that got injured from trying to do so. Most common problems with deadlifts and new comers is that they don't know how to properly hinge their hips, don't know where to position their feet and body, they go way too heavy/too often, and they lack proper hip mobility to pull heavy weight from the ground. Some alternate exercises to consider that will give you the same results are Hip Thrusts, Trap Bar Deadlifts, and Hyper Extensions. These exercises will help you learn how to properly hinge your hips, how to position your body and feet for a proper pull, and isolate the muscle more so you build a better mind-muscle connection. 

 

Squat - Saved the best for last. Some new comers seems to believe that in order to have big legs, you must squat. While that is partly true. Yes, for superior leg development; some type of squat should be in your arsenal. That doesn't mean it has to be barbell back squat. New comers get injured from this exercise because they often go way to heavy/ too often, don't know proper breathing and foot position, don't know how to hip hinge, and lack mobility to handle heavy weights in deep ranges. Some alternate movements to squats that will benefit your physique without compromising your safety are Hack Squat, Safety Bar Squat, and Lunges. These exercises will give you a better sense of how to handle a heavy weight with your legs and core. With these exercises you will be able to feel a more natural range motion while keeping a full range of motion. 

 

Don't listen to any of these unwritten gym rules. Time for you to start writing your own rules. Next time someone hits you with a bullshit gym commandment, Say "thank you for the tip", put your headphones back in, and keep doing you. Listen to reputable sources only.


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