Have you ever wondered if some of your aches and pains may actually be caused by your workout? If you’re relying on any of these dangerous moves, you might be right.
The Incorrect Bench Press
When you complete a bench press, keep your arms close and tight to your body. As you lift the bar, your forearms should be rising straight up and back down. Remember, the bench press is not an exercise for the shoulders, and it isn’t about the back; it’s designed to target the pecs, arms and chest. An out-of-control bench press that taxes the back and shoulders will be less effective, and can cause serious damage to your joints.
The Lat Pull-Down
If you’re doing lat pull-downs and bringing the bar down behind your neck, stop. This places too much strain on your neck and upper spine. This move can also place questionable pressure on your shoulder joints, which can lead to rotator cuff problems. If you must do lat pull-downs at all, bring the bar down in front of your neck, and make sure you keep your back slightly arched in a natural way. If your back is arching unnaturally, reduce the amount of weight you’re lifting.
The Kettle Bell Swing
To complete this move properly, you’ll need to hinge your hip, keep your feet at shoulder width, and bend at the waist without bending your lower back. This is a precise set of instructions, amounting to a skill that’s best perfected with trained supervision. If you don’t have that supervision, skip this move for now. Your back will thank you.
The Squat with Knees Forward
Squats can be an excellent move for balance, tone and full body conditioning, but never let your knees creep further forward than your toes. This isn’t always easy, especially for those with long torsos or comparatively short legs. If you’re having trouble keeping those knees in line, that means you’re placing undesirable strain on your back. Try another move that provides the same benefits.
The Upright Row
Shoulders that have been rotated inward should not be elevated. Our rotator cuffs aren’t designed to work this way, and the benefits of this move are so limited (if they exist at all), that there no harm in letting it go altogether.