Is there an exercise that you hate? For some people it’s squats, for some it’s deadlifts, and for others it could be something that most of us consider fun, like dips or the ab wheel.
An Entire Exercise Could Be Your Weak Spot
Find Your Weak Spot
If you any any particular exercise because it is hard, awkward, or uncomfortable, then you have probably found your weak spot.
Depending on the exercise, the main muscle used and/or the ancillary muscles used, are probably weak points for you. There is likely a muscle imbalance, or at least a weak muscle that should be prioritized for a couple months.
The best exercise you can do to bring up your weak point, is the exercise that you hate.
Most People Hate Squatting
For a long time I hated squats. I found that I couldn’t get out of the hole, my chest dropped, I fell forward, my knees pushed inward, everything was wrong with my squats. I hated them.
So, what did I do? I asked a more experienced lifter to watch and correct my technique, and to recommend ways I could improve my overall squat. I started squatting 3 times a week, using the advice to fix my squatting form.
Within a year, my squat shot up from a shaky 185 x 5 to 315 x 7 as a warm-up. The thing is, I had to make serious adjustments to my form and force myself to squat even when my squatting muscles were still weak from novice-itis. Today I am comfortable squatting because my form is pretty good and I have equally developed all the squatting muscles such that none of them are significantly weak relative to the rest.
Weak Spots Within Your Favorite Exercises
Even when you love an exercise, you can develop certain plateaus, which can be mental blocks or muscle imbalances. These plateaus can be disheartening and can cause you to lose motivation to train. Don’t let that happen. Analyze your reps for potential weak spots and fix them.
For example: perhaps you love bench pressing because you have trouble pushing the bar off your chest then you might need additional chest work to develop reversal strength, or you might need to use pin presses to develop starting strength.
Maybe you can’t seem to complete the lockout at the top of a press. In that case you might need additional triceps work in the form of close grip bench, close grip pin press, board press, or rack lockouts.
Maybe locking out the deadlift is your problem. In that case you might need lower back and hip work in the form of rack lockouts, rack pulls, good mornings, stiff leg deads, Romanian deads, or pull thrus.
Do you have trouble pulling the bar off the ground? Then you might need to work on your deadlift starting strength by pulling with a wider grip or while standing on a block.
Trouble pushing out of the hole when squatting? Try some box squats at a low depth or pause jump squats.
Box Squats or Cushion Squats?
No matter what, if you take the time to analyze WHY an exercise is really hard in a certain range of motion, uncomfortable, or awkward, then you can almost always fix it. And remember if you absolutely HATE a certain exercise, then that is a good enough reason to use it 2 or more times a week until you’ve mastered it.
Please take this advice knowing that if an exercise causes actual pain, or if a doctor has told you to avoid certain exercises due to a previous or nagging injury, then you should take that doctor’s advice.