Welcome to article number 2 in our
series “Bodybuilding Sins That Cause Back Pain and Missed Workouts”. In
this article we are going to talk about how bodybuilders tend to create
massive muscle imbalances and what you can do to not be one of them.
If you missed the first article,
you can read it by clicking on the link below.
Here’s a breakdown of the
articles to look for:
1. Article #1 - Choosing The WRONG Exercises
2. Article #2 - Training Variations for Pain Relief and
3. Article #3 - Targeted Stretching
4. Article #4 - Targeted Exercises
5. Article #5 - Rest, Recovery, and Injury Prevention
Article #2 - Training
Variations for Pain Relief and Maximum Results
Bodybuilders are a stubborn bunch…
almost as bad as runners! And they tend to follow the “HERD” doing
whatever exercises and routines the “pros” are doing...
Now, if your goal is to be as big
as possible and you are not at all concerned with your health and
fitness, don’t even bother with this article… this article is for
bodybuilders who ARE concerned about their health and want to be big,
strong, powerful, and agile… if that’s you, read on…
The reason so many bodybuilders
suffer from so many different injuries is because there are several
things the “pros” don’t tell you…
First off, the articles that you see in all the muscle mags aren’t even
written by the “pros”… and the workout routines they recommend are
always extreme and often not even used by the “pro” who supposedly
wrote because their main goal is to sell magazines… not give you the
real deal on bodybuilding.
If you are serious about
bodybuilding and want to achieve your true peak, you need to stay
injury free… and that’s just about impossible if you train they way
most bodybuilders do.
There are several key strategies
that you can use right now to not only eliminate any aches, pains and
injuries you currently have, but also keep from creating more muscle
imbalances in the future. For a more detailed article on muscle
imbalances go to http://www.losethebackpain.com/achesandpainsarticle.html
Strategy #1 - Target the
No, we don’t mean the exercises you
think you're weak at, or even the muscles you think are underdeveloped…
what we mean is the muscles that are weak in relation to the opposing
For example, in the first article
we talked about why the Leg Extension is not a great exercise and why
it’s responsible for so many cases of knee, hip, and back pain… and the
reason is, most people, especially bodybuilders, are already over
developed and stronger in the quadriceps… and usually have a
significant imbalance between the quadriceps and hamstrings.
Another reason bodybuilders tend to
develop so many severe muscle imbalances is because they emphasize the
front of the body more than the back… a great example of this is what
we call “The T-shirt Muscle Workout” and it usually consists of dozens
of sets of chest and biceps…
you know what we mean… in just one workout you do flat bench, incline,
decline, pec deck, dumbbell fly, cable cross overs… and then for biceps
you’ve got barbell curls, dumbbell curls, preacher curls, cable curls,
machine curls, and the list goes on…
So instead of emphasizing the
muscles that are already strong, why not really hit those weak and
under worked muscles like: neck, upper back, shoulder rotators,
hamstrings, glutes, hip rotators, lower abs, and shins.
These areas tend to be weak, tight,
out of balance with their opposing muscles, prone to muscle strains and
pulls and most importantly, these imbalances lead to major injuries and
conditions like back pain, knee pain, rotator cuff tears, tendonitis
All of these conditions are caused
by muscle imbalances and will NOT go away unless you work towards
correcting the imbalances… and the only way to know for sure which
imbalances are causing your pain or injury is to do a series of
physical assessments like the ones covered in our “Lose the Back Pain Video”.
Strategy #2 - Experiment!
Here’s a personal challenge for
you: Replace at least 1 of your normal weekly workouts with something
totally different like combat martial arts, kettle bell training,
functional training, or even strongman style exercises.
For example, instead of doing your
super heavy, 3 inch partial rep leg presses, try a single leg squat…
and if that’s easy, try adding weight! Or instead dozens of sets of
shoulder presses and lateral raises, see if you can do 1 handstand
Those are just a few examples… do
yourself a favor and experiment with other types of exercises.
You can find hundreds of different types of training styles by taking
classes, reading books, watching videos, surfing the web, hire
a personal trainer, etc.
We aren’t asking you to give up
your traditional workouts… but just cross-train a bit so you not only
work towards a balanced body but also towards a stronger, more powerful
and usable strength. Again, what good is muscle if you can’t use it!
Strategy #3 - Switch It Up!
Another great way to minimize the
number of missed workouts due to injuries is to vary the exercises that
you do for each muscle group. For example, if you always do barbell
squats try rotating in other exercises like single-leg leg presses,
trap-bar dead-lifts, d-bell squats, etc.
Remember, the key to eliminating
injuries and preventing future ones is to identify what areas you need
to target. In the next two articles we’ll be discussing in detail, how
to address various injuries like back, hip, knee, and shoulder pain
with targeted exercises and stretches. In the meantime, be sure to read
thru all of our detailed Articles
and if you have questions, please post them in our Discussion