The spine is one of the most vital components of the entire body. Spinal problems can be incredibly serious. If something goes wrong and you wind up injured, you might be paralyzed. Strengthening the spine might not eliminate the risks, but it can definitely help to minimize them.
So, what can you do to strengthen your spine? The answers are plentiful. Within this guide, you will find tips for strengthening your spine.
There’s no pleasure without pain, that’s true, but when it comes to fitness, this proverb is the last thing anyone who has just dropped a bar while performing a bench press wants to hear. Both professional and amateur athletes are no strangers to all kinds of injuries, and anyone who has ever trained has had their fair share of joint dislocations, muscle tears, sprains, and strains.
However, all those issues take their toll not only on the body, but also on one’s mental health. Some injuries are inevitable, but others can be easily avoided by taking some measures of precaution. Warming up before every workout is one of the ways to play it safe at the gym.
Oddly enough, the mistake of skipping a warm-up session isn’t something that only fitness rookies do, and this bad practice can increase the risk of getting hurt by half. Let’s examine some common fitness injuries and those that you should beware of.
Memory Foam is Big Business – But Is It Good For You?
You’ve heard it, time and time again, that memory foam is your ticket to the best night’s sleep you’ve had in ages. This is definitely true for some people who swear by the material, but many others remain skeptical. One of the most common questions we hear is whether various memory foam mattress options are good for your back, posture, and bone health.
How Memory Foam Works
Memory foam materials have their origins in 1960s NASA flight experiments. The institution needed very soft material to keep high-speed flight pilots protected against g-force. The same characteristics that make this material ideal for those flights also make it a very comfortable mattress material.
Since it conforms to the shape of your body, you can sleep in any variety of positions without feeling encumbered by stiffness. This softness is what really makes memory foam stand out, but not everyone is convinced that this is what’s best for the human body.(more…)
Like pull ups, heavy rows are one of the best exercises to train your back. The king of rowing exercises is the standing barbell row, but the problem is that too few people perform them properly. You might see the following common technique flaws in people executing barbell rows:
momentum – using the posterior chain to generate momentum, instead of using the muscles of the back and arms
rounded back – weakness in the lower back or hip tightness can cause your lower back to round, which is bad for the spine
standing upright – you have to bend over nearly parallel to the floor in order to work the upper back properly
As I mentioned last week, you can fix all of these issues by switching from barbell rows to inverted rows, or you can learn how to perform barbell rows correctly.
Let’s talk about how we can best use barbell rows in our training routines.
Deadlifts are one of the primary, fundamental exercises for all serious weight training programs. Deadlifts work 100% of your legs and they require functional stability from 95% of the rest of the muscles on your body. Using proper form, deadlifts will help you get stronger, gain more muscle, and burn more calories than any other single exercise after the squat.
Deadlifts build lower back and hamstring strength, and they teach you to keep your lower back tight against a heavy load, which is critical to avoid injuries when lifting objects from the ground or floor. Unfortunately, this is also why deadlifts have gained a bad reputation of causing a variety of injuries, including spinal injuries and hernias.
Do you limit yourself by avoiding horizontal or vertical back movements? Did you know that your traps and lower back also need to be strengthened? Are you stuck on lat pull downs as your main back exercise? Can’t do a pull up?
Tsk, tsk, tsk…
Avoid these 6 common back training mistakes and you will have a much better chance of looking like Atlas and performing like an Olympian.
While the lower back may be the easiest part of your back to acquire mass, it is also the easiest to injure. Think about all of the people with factory jobs spending all day picking up heavy boxes. These people will have very developed backs from doing this all day and they aren’t even weight lifters or bodybuilders.
The way people get injured isn’t necessarily the injured. I swear, you hear people all the time say all this shit about deadlifts being bad. This could not be further from the truth.
It is the way you perform the exercise. If you pick the bar off the ground with your back rounded like crazy, then yeah, of course you are going to get injured.
How to Get a Muscular Lower Back
Like mentioned above, this may be the easiest muscle to get built up. Obviously, the deadlift will be the best exercise to utilize to achieve this goal.
Deadlifts can also be dangerous since a lot of people just never figure out how to use correct form. Either that, or they will try to go too heavy to inflate their ego and sacrifice form in doing so.
Here’s a hint: if you have to round your back in order to deadlift 500 lbs, then you should probably lower the weight. Drop the ego and use the right form, please.
Nothing is more impressive than being able to bang out 30 pull ups in a row or finishing a set of 10 with 90 lbs hanging from a belt. Nothing LOOKS more impressive than being able to hit an impressive front or rear lat spread with confidence. Furthermore, how many women do you know who can finish a set of 10 pull ups? Trust me, there aren’t many.
The reality is that we can accomplish all of these things with intense free weight back training.
Your back muscles comprise the second largest set of muscles, after the legs. Therefore, putting some serious effort into training your back will pay off huge dividends whether you are looking to burn a large number of calories, better fill out your shirts, condition your body for functional strength, or even to fix your posture from focusing too long on chest training.
Shoulder Rehab Chronic Shoulder Instability and Impingement Syndrome are the most common types of shoulder injury. Chronic Shoulder Instabilityoccurs when the ‘head’ of the upper arm bone moves out of the shoulder socket. This results in a shoulder joint dislocation and causes great pain. On the other hand, impingement syndromeisprompted by friction occurring between the shoulder blade and rotator cuff. The friction from the rotator cuff and the shoulder blade may be caused by inflammation in a tendon or muscle.
Preparations to Rehab an Injured Shoulder
It’s important to remember that any injury needs to be checked and treated by an accredited physician. They may recommend medication and several rehabilitation techniques to encourage the shoulder to heal and function as soon as possible. The Physician will also be able to see the specifics of your injury that may alter they way you would treat it. Here are some tips to consider when preparing an injured shoulder for rehabilitation. (more…)
How to Prevent Injuries that Will Derail Your Progress
Adding weight lifting to your workout routine on a weekly basis can offer the average fitness buff a world of benefits.
For one thing, it can make you stronger, as expected, helping you to overcome obstacles in other types of exercise (running faster, throwing farther, jumping higher, etc.). But it can also help you to create the physique you’ve been trying for (whether it’s bulking you crave or simply a frame that features better muscle tone) and even lose weight if that’s what you want (muscle burns more calories than fat). And that’s just the beginning.
Weight lifting, when done improperly, can also result in a slew of injuries, most of which can be easily avoided by warming up and cooling down, building up to greater weights or more reps over time, using proper form, listening to your body, and asking for help from a spotter.
Here are just a few common weight lifting injuries that are best avoided: