While a lot of students know that it is a good idea to be going to the gym every now and then, they might be doing more harm than good. Maybe you are an avid runner, but have poor running technique. Or maybe you love to lift heavy, but have trouble keeping your knees out on squats. Whatever it is, I encourage you to take these flaws seriously, as they could lead to a potential injury. Even if you consistently go to the gym, you may actually be impairing your health and its time to change.
Whether its a squat, pushup, or any other critically important movement, many people fall short in range of motion. Full range of motion of the joints is incredibly important for injury prevention, and improving your strength. Squatting above parallel, doing pushups above parallel, and general lack of range of motion in exercise is an almost guarantee for injury according to the journal of physical therapy. That is why we suggest doing a grok squat, or an ass to grass squat where you are getting a full range of motion throughout your joints.
2.Bench, Bench, Bench
We get it, frat bro’s like to bench. We like to bench press also! It’s just not the absolute end all be all of strength. If anything, bench press should be an exercise that helps you with other benchmark lifts like an overhead press. There are plenty of better ways to get good looking triceps and chest muscles. Instead, do a pushup or a superman pushup where you are explosive in the chest and triceps muscles, but also using a lot of abdominal and back muscles. Limit your benching to once a week.
3. Reps vs. Weight
It’s nice to do thousands and thousands of crunches if you want to get a six pack, but it probably won’t happen. When it comes down to it, doing less reps at a higher intensity will ultimately lead to a more toned and stronger body. So don’t sit there and crunch until your neck breaks off, go lift some heavy ass weights! (with proper technique of course)
4. Skipping Leg Day
The ladies sure do love a big chest, don’t they? Maybe so, but I guarantee your squat is much, much more important and functional than a bench press. Your legs are your base, and without a solid base, you are going to be stumbling over your feet as you walk from class to class. Plus you will look like this guy:
5. Isolation Movements vs. Compound Movements
Bicep curls and tricep extensions and calf raises are all awesome movements if you want to win a body building competition. They are also quite useful for strengthening certain lifts. But don’t get me wrong, these single jointed lifts are all supplementary for the real goal in your exercise regime: to be the strongest, best looking, best feeling you that you can be. Doing compound movements like clean & jerks, deadlifts, squats, etc. should make up the bulk of your time spent in the gym. Remember, the point of exercising is not to bulk up so that you appear strong, its to truly be strong so that you can do some really amazing things like hike, jump, climb, swim, bike, pick up heavy objects, and maybe do one of these every once in a while.
If you are unsure of what you should be doing in the gym, check out THIS POST.