Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Best Form of Bodybuilding, Part Six - Dennis Weis



To the bodybuilder using weight training as a means of gaining more size, strength and improving physical proportions, the subject of training injuries deserves immediate attention. The fact is that injuries are a common occurrence in weight training and as it is highly possible that you will experience some type of muscle injury during your training life if you are not careful.

If you are not aware of the causes and preventative measures, it could bring your lifting career to an end permanently. So, at this time I would like to speak to you briefly about the 1) causes, and 2) muscle areas most frequently affected by injuries. 

Five Common Causes of Muscle injury 

1) Workouts That are Too Long -- the more physically tired you become, the more susceptible you will become to injury. This may occur because the stabilizing or support muscles of the muscular give out from fatigue. Also, if you work the same muscle group with more sets than necessary, the muscle can become permanently fatigued, and as a result you are going to be more prone to lose control of the weight by lowering it too fast. 

2) Mispositioning of the Barbell -- this is where the body and or the barbell get in a position where the strength of a muscle is not properly utilized and because of this awkward or unusual stress causes injury. This type of injury can in [part be aa condition of the above fact, as well as a lack of concentration. 

3) Lack of Flexibility -- injury here is caused by forcing a bodypart through a range of movement that it isn't accustomed to. Frequently one hears of injuries caused by squats. Warmups, followed by the proper training procedures will eliminate these types of injuries. GRADUALLY over an extended period of time, inch by inch work down into new squat depths, styles or bar positions. For example, whenever I suggest squats to be included in a beginner's program, I will immediately test the individual's flexibility by having him perform the standard stiff leg toe touch or palms to the floor. If this individual can't reach either of these two areas with ease, I observe from this test that he isn't ready to perform full range squat movements. I will then work him accordingly to correct this condition. Likewise when experimenting to locate the most natural stance for maximum power, we move the foot spacing only 1 to 2 inches every other workout till the best stance for that individual is reached. By working into these positions GRADUALLY, we eliminate injury in the lower torso extremities. 

4) Adding Poundages too Rapidly -- Increase poundages SLOWLY to allow the muscular structure to adjust to these heavier weights.

5) Unbalanced Strengths -- injuries result here when muscles and supporting strengths are unequally developed. For example, you might injure your back when doing some heavy parallel squats. This is a case where the supporting strength of the back is not equal in power to the large thigh muscles. 

Shoulder Injuries 

Injuries in this region are most common because of smallness of this area compared to the tremendous poundages we use in the various pressing and lateral (leverage) movements. To guard against such shoulder discomforts, it is best to do shoulder exercises followed by chest work.   

Earlier in the text (Keys to Effective Organization of a Training Program), I mentioned that you should always begin your routine with the largest bodypart and work down to the smallest. In our case here this will be an exception (shoulders before chest work), because if we work the chest first the shoulder muscles act as stabilizers and in time will become strained. This is a case of an unbalanced strength and working the shoulders first will forestall this injury factor. It will tend to reduce the tremendous poundages and force applied if the benches had been performed first.

Elbows and Triceps

In this case most bodybuilders use more weight than they can properly handle and use a jerking motion. To overcome this type of injury perform all your movements SMOOTHLY. It is also good to warm up the elbow and triceps regions with some pushdowns before a set of overhead presses. The poundages may suffer at first by performing this pushdown movement first, but in time it will come up.  

Back Injuries 

This is caused by an unbalanced strength in this area. To begin with, don't do any type of movement which will cause further back pain or fatigue until the area has properly healed. Begin strengthening this area with light weights, low sets, low reps, using exercises such as hyperextensions and stiff leg deadlifts.

Knee Injuries

This is caused by a lack of FLEXIBILITY in the knee joint and surrounding ligaments. Corrective measures for this area would be to warm up the area with some high rep leg extensions [light leg curls can also be useful], then proceed to do squats or leg presses. 

Injured joints and tendons recover faster when they are exercised LIGHTLY with high repetitions, an kept warm with heat and light massage. Proper warmups will help to prevent many strains, tears and other training injuries that usually occur in one's training endeavors. 

Next . . . 
Tendon and Ligament Strength, Breathing
Techniques, and Muscular Soreness.

Enjoy Your Lifting! 

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