Physical destruction: Exercises that will wreck your body - Part 2

In the first part I described pistol squats and squats done via the Smith machine, as well as some exercises performed using a reverse grip. The subsequent exercises are willingly emploed by both new entrants to this sport and the habitues. Keep in mind that sometimes the injuries and pain manifest themselves suddenly (like for instance sudden trauma, tension, tears, sprains, damaged ligaments and attachments), and some require long-term "developing", such as those resulting from chronic overloading of the shoulder and knee.

You should definitely read:

Physical destruction: Exercises that will wreck your body - Part 1

Exercises: behind the beck barbell press, behind the neck lat pulldown, behind the neck pull ups, latteral raise, upright row.

Dangerous can be the following exercises:

  • behind the neck press, both in standing and sitting,
  • behind the neck split jerk,
  • behind the neck push press,
  • behind the neck push/power jerk,
  • behind the neck thrusters,

at the same time, they are among the best general development eercises of the old-school weight training. But... remember that powerlifters and strongmen have a specific construction of joints and bones - they are better prepared to lifting gigantic loads. Many of these competitors are able to do exercises unattainable by many people, such as full-range clean and behind the neck presses, front and back squats. Whether you will be able to train long and healthly depends on your genetics - how your acromion is shaped. There are three main types of acromion. The construction of this element is responsible for how much space will be there in the joint during rises, presses, pulldowns, pull ups or similar movements. If the space is scarce, compression followed by friction among supraspinatus tendon takes place.

So, when it comes to behind the neck pressing (and variants of jerking, cleaning etc.), do not leave the bar low, if you have:

  • narrow clavicles,
  • low mobility of the shoulder,
  • long forearms,
  • poor flexibility,
  • poorly built acromion (unfortunately, you cannot find it on your own without for instance magnetic resonance, going through injury or performing invasive tests).

The same principle applies to:

  • lat pulldown to the neck,
  • behind the neck pull ups,
  • high dumbbell front raises, lateral raises or reverse flyes,
  • narrow grip upright row at a large range of motion, over the sternum.

The rotator cuff is made of four muscles:

  • supraspinatus,
  • infraspinatus,
  • subscapularis,
  • teres minor.

They cover the shoulder joint. F. Delavier writes that while raising the arms in front or back in some people friction and following compression of the supraspinatus tendon takes place between the humeral head and vaulted bone. This tendon passes under appendage bone at the top of the shoulder. If the space is too small, this leads to inflammation. If the inflammation is not treated ("and it always hurts as I work out"), inflammation also appears in the tendons of the infraspintus, in the back and in the long head of the biceps muscle, in front. After some time, this leads for example to irreversible damage to the supraspinatus tendon.

How to safely barbell press?

  • Try the front variant of clean, jerk, push press etc.
  • Use a wide grip (you can go ahead with a lot wider grip than your shoulders)
  • Limit your range of motion in lowering movements (if your body building does not allow for full-range exercise) for example lower the bar to the eyes / nose, not necessarily to the chest.

How to safely pull up and lat pulldown?

  • Pull up to your chest or chin using a overhand grip (palm facing outward) or a neutral grip,
  • Remember to warm up the shoulder joints, biceps and triceps before training your back!
  • Do not exercise your biceps or triceps before the base, main exercises (for example barbell curl before overhand grip pull ups),
  • Remember that during the reverse grip pull up at full extension of arms the biceps tear may occur! If you already decide on the reverse grip (palms facing your body), limit the range of motion - do not complete the full hang,
  • You do not have to use a wide grip - this is one of the most commonly copied myths on the Internet. "The width of the back" has nothing to do with the width of your grip when pulling up, lat pulldown or rowing. What determins your achievments is the technique (how your body moves for example during a pull up, how your elbows work. If you care about a mile-wide back, keep your elbows along your body, down during the pull),
  • Do the lat pulldown to your chest, not to the neck.

How to safely raise: front, latteral and reverse fly?

  • If your body structure does not allow it, limit the movement to the sternum level.

How to safely upright row?

  • Use a wide grip - wider than the shoulders,
  • Do not pull the bar higher than your sternum,
  • It is a safe version of an exercises called high pull.

You should always remeber that high dumbbell front raises, lateral raises or reverse flyes are a possible threat also to the spine: they may cause high overload (even with the exercise with seemingly trivial weights!). You should pay careful attention to maintain the proper posture and thus protect your vertebral column. The same principle applies to the upright row.

Sources: . Frederic Delavier „Modelowanie sylwetki metodą Delaviera”. Wydawnictwo PZWL 2011 2. Frederic Delavier „Atlas treningu siłowego” Wydawnictwo PZWL 2007 3. http://potreningu.pl/artykuly/1544/jak-zbudowac-szerokie-barki 4. Long Live the Overhead Press http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/long_live_the_overhead_press 5. Shoulder Training Tips And Exercises http://anabolicminds.com/forum/content/shoulder-training-tips-3076/ 6. Ćwiczenia na tył barków http://www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/ShouldWt.html#anchor1934542