2 Exercises to Avoid
By: Marc David
If you want a good night, then avoid two of these old school moves.
Although I can't say I've seen these moves done in quite some time, I know that growing up I saw plenty of pictures of how the move should be done. If I had more then 3 wishes left in this lamp, I wish that somebody would go find every book and every website with this exercise and cross it out with a Sharpie pen.
I have a very good friend, who will remain nameless, that gave me another tidbit of advice. He's been instrumental in helping me train legs. I've never pushed myself so hard. So when he gives advice, I know it's coming from a reliable source that's much better then any scientific study.
He began with some good mornings. At first it was the bar. Then it was 20 lbs. on each side. Pretty soon he was doing 225 lbs. That's a lot of weight. But having the strength to do it and the youth, he pushed on. Until one day, POP! Forward he went, with 225 lbs. How he didn't break his neck is somewhat of a miracle.
As with any exercise, and the motivation of a bodybuilder, we will continue to push ourselves to new limits. But some exercises just don't produce any results worth the inherent risks associated. Good mornings are one of those exercises. There are many other options for compound movements that do the same thing but with much less of a risk. So skip the good mornings and try some dead-lifts or stiff-legged dead-lifts. You won't be missing out on anything by skipping the good mornings except maybe weeks of recovery or a broken neck.
Lat Pull-downs Behind the Neck:
No story to go with this one, but think about it. Eventually you'll be doing some heavy weight. In a very unnatural position. That is a recipe for injury. It's much more natural and safe to do the same movement to the front. Either way your lats are getting worked. But behind the neck puts pressure on the shoulders which isn't the muscle group you are trying work.
This same philosophy goes for pull-ups. They should be done to the front as well. If you do pull-downs, try doing it to the front. Don't even think about behind the neck as they won't do any more for you except possibly give your an excuse not to do any more pull-downs.
Marc David is a bodybuilder, writer, and author of the the e-book "The Beginner's Guide to Fitness and Bodybuilding" (BGFB): What Every Beginner Should Know but Probably Doesn't. Marc has written over 20 articles and has been featured in several health and fitness websites. Marc's opinionated and informative articles on bodybuilding, weight loss and training are featured regularly on: http://www.freedomfly.net
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The Power of Stretching - Dave Snape
muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.
A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.
The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching.
it can't hurt, right?
So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.
Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
Why are stretching and flexibility considered
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy
know there are plenty of other benefits.
Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from
Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.
Here is some good
instructional material on stretching:
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