I used to train myself sometimes in a commercial gym and I noticed some elements that most of the people do that would be essential to improve to get better results, a better posture and less injuries.
Here are 5 common errors that I’ve seen regularly that prevent you from maximizing your potential :
1- The ratio of free weights to machine exercises
Under certain conditions, the use of machine exercises can be useful to add some variety considering that these are good quality machines. However, I think that people should limit themselves to 20% of machine usage compared to free weights. By doing so, you will drastically increase your muscle recruitment and you will further stimulate your central nervous system.
2- Not performing your exercises in their full range of motion
I often see a lot of people increasing their poundage at the expense of the range of motion used. This is not a good idea. Even if you lift 100 pounds more, by doing only half of the movement, you will not gain strength plus or minus 15 degree of the angle worked, you will not fully stimulate your fibers and you will disrupt joint integrity by creating various muscle tensions. There are some exceptions in which different range of motions should be used but this goes beyond the scope of this article. As a general rule, make sure to always perform a full range of motion especially when you increase the weight.
3- An overtrain of your internal rotators of your shoulder
It is a known fact that most of men want to have big pecs. The problem is that the pectoral is an internal rotator of the shoulder, so if you overdo your pecs, you will create an instability of your humerus and your scapula because of the imbalance of your internal and external rotators. The solution is simple : put more emphasis on your external rotators such as the infraspinatus, the teres minor, the inferior and media trapezius as well as the rhomboids. For the next weeks, do 1 exercise of pec for 2 exercises of back. You will see fast results in both hypertrophy and strength and your posture will drastically improve. Be careful however, the latissimus dorsi, which is the dominant back muscle is also an internal rotator of the shoulder.
4- Lack of variety in exercise selection, repetition range and tempos
Charles Poliquin, one of the most successful trainer in the world, always says : «A program is only as good as the time it takes to adapt to it». This couldn’t be more the truth and unfortunately many people seems to underestimate the ability of the body to adapt to stimulus. Don’t be afraid to change your repetitions and your tempo often. It would also be a great idea to use uncommon angle on the bench like 55 or 40 degrees because even a slight change of a few degrees change completely your muscle recruitment.
5- Too much compensation in the exercises
People often tend to increase their poundage at the expense of the technique. This even happens sometimes unconsciously. Why ? Because the body is intelligent and always try to perform a task as easily as possible. Obviously, it is much easier to use 5 muscles to perform the same task as using only one muscle. However, by doing so, you do not strengthen your weaknesses. As the proverb says, “You’re only as strong as your weakest link”. Therefore, this week look at yourself in the mirror when you’ll be performing your exercises and try to figure out which muscles are helping you to compensate in your movement. Then, it will be easy to fix the problem.
To get additional help to correct your mistakes, make an appointment today at Axellite Santé Globale center and let us evaluate you and make a specialized program that suits for your needs!
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