Every person I know who has trained exclusively for size for a handful of years will suffer with shoulder pain, probably lower back pain and as a result potentially knee pain. If they don’t yet, they almost certainly will. The good news is that amongst the bleak reading these issues are totally avoidable. However you must be able to leave your ego at the door, invest sufficient time on the right exercises and get into good habits. If you are willing, we can show you a trick or two!
1 – Hamstrings & Glutes
People do lots of back extensions to ensure their lower back is strong and whilst the intentions are good, the battle plan will only lead you down the losing path. The very reason a lot of trainers experience lower back issues is because their erectors become so developed and in turn bare most of the load. As a result the hamstrings and glutes do little work, meaning people fail to utilise hip extension and remain in back extension. Over time you will experience a very sore lower back! The remedy is in the prognosis – build strong hamstrings and glutes. However most people won’t be able to recruit them effectively with much weight. Practise RDLs and Good Mornings with no weight to learn to feel the burn. Do these several times a week at the start of your leg sessions.
2 – Hip & Ankle Mobility
Tight hip flexors are often the reason for excess load on the back due to the fact it becomes very hard to utilise your hips properly. Working on hip mobility is then key, foam rolling is a great way to start along with stretching every day.
Poor ankle and hip mobility are often the reason people develop issues with their knees. To help eradicate ankle mobility issues in the short term switch from regular squats to bench squats!
3 – Foam Rolling
We touched on this above but it certainly deserves a piece on its own. Foam rolling is fantastic for keeping the muscles knot free and supple, keeping tissue healthy. As a result there is far less chance of you getting too tight in given areas of the body which will create excess tension potentially leading to injury.
Joint health should be at the top of your priority list. Far too many people leave it to the point where it is too late and they are out for weeks, if not months rehabbing what was an easily avoided problem.