Today I want to talk about the rules of lifting weights. There are only 2 but they are 2 very important rules to follow or you can easily end up with permanent damage to your body. I feel the need to talk about them because most of the people in the gym don’t know how to lift properly and it’s hard to watch people that are putting in so much effort to do something good for themselves just to be doing something damaging. I want people to reap the rewards of this lifestyle in the same way that I have.
Rule Number 1
The first rule of weightlifting is, maintain a neutral spine. What that means, if you are ever reading a bodybuilding magazine or fitness magazine, all it means is keep a straight spine. Of course, we all have natural curves but we want to be as straight as possible.
There is a disk between each vertebra and it is made out of cartilage. Those disks are meant for a compression load and if they are compressed between each vertebra nice and flat they can hold a lot of pressure. If they get hit off to one side, they can’t hold much pressure. If the weight is too much the disk will crack. There is a gel inside the disk that will leak out and harden to form the cartilage of the disk and that’s how the body repairs itself. However, you will always feel the pain from the cracked disk.
You can do this once really hard for an acute injury or you can do it slowly over time. If you constantly hit one side of your disks repeatedly like in a crunch or side crunch, thousands and thousands of times, eventually you will get a bulged disk. It will push against your nerve and that’s where the pain comes from. The bottom line is to keep your spine straight.
Clients often ask me why do people do those exercises then? The answer is because they don’t know better. For more information on this topic you can google Dr. Stuart McGill. They call him “The Spine Doctor” and he is world renown. He puts on seminars all over the world and he happens to be Canadian. If you’re the YouTube type, you are in luck; he’s on YouTube as well. If you don't mind reading he has a great book called "Low Back Disorders".
How To Maintain A Neutral Spine
There is 3 parts to maintaining a neutral spine. I will talk about the cervical spine or C-spine, the thoracic spine or T-spine, and the lumbar spine or L-spine. For the C-spine all we do is keep the head in line with the rest of the torso. If you are doing a bent over row for example you want to have your head in line with the rest of the torso, looking down instead of looking up at yourself in the mirror. No staring at the biceps while pumping iron.
For the T-spine we do what we call the set position which is shrug your shoulders, retract them back, then drop them down. You will end up with your shoulder blades down and together. In this position, the rhomboids (muscles of the upper back between the shoulder blades) can do the work they are required to do. Also, the shoulders are a very unstable joint and this helps to stabilize the shoulder.
If the rhomboids give out the shoulders will fall forward and you may get shoulder pain or even an injury with that. The T-spine will round and the pressure will be on the anterior aspect of your disks. They will have to carry the load and we don’t want to see that so you’ll have to stop the exercise, reset the shoulders or just stop completely.
The lumbar spine is a bit different. If you are doing a bent over exercise you have to stick your butt out to engage the back muscles and not round your lower back. We call this porn star or the stripper. It allows the back muscles to do their job. If you are doing something upright you will have to engage the abs. Pretend someone is about to punch you in the stomach and brace accordingly. This is how most exercises should be done. You will also want to stagger your stance for better balance which is also easier on the lumbar spine.
Rule Number 2
Rule number 2 is never lock your joints. I am talking about your knees and elbows. I’ll start with the elbows. If you keep locking out with a pushing exercise like bench-press, you will get sore elbows very quickly and not want to do bench-press for about a month. If you are doing a pulling exercise, easy on the eccentric or on the way away from the body. Again, if you keep locking out you will get sore elbows.
The knees are slightly more complicated so pay attention here. How you tear an anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is you lock out your knee, rotate your foot inward or medially, and then hit it. This is common for a snowboarder when locking out to rest the legs while still riding through easy parts. Don’t lock your knee. There’s all kinds of tendons and ligaments in the knee area. We don’t want to tear any of that crap.
Another problem with locking out is there is cartilage in the knee. The femur articulates with the tibia/fibula and the cartilage on top of the tibia/fibula is called your meniscus. Picture jumping as high as you can and landing on locked knees. That’s going to hurt and you will likely crack some of the cartilage in the knee. We have all heard of a meniscus tear. You don’t have to jump high to tear your cartilage, you can load up heavy weights and lock your knee; it can have the same impact.
The last thing I will mention is hyper extension of the knee. You can YouTube this and see people hyper extending on the leg press. It’s gross. Looks like it hurts. Don’t lock out your knee please.
I have many suggestions and resources to help improve health and fitness. I would like to give you an opportunity to spend an hour with me to make a plan for your health and fitness. I want you to overachieve like you never thought possible. This is an offer that will not be available ever again very soon. I am giving you the opportunity to become someone you and others envy.
Click here to meet with me.
Get a Health and Fitness Plan… For Free!
You will get a 60-minute coaching session one on one with me to make a plan for your health and fitness. You can ask me any questions you want during the coaching session. You will get:
- a plan that's specific to your needs.
- an exercise plan.
- nutrition advice.
- the exact diet I get all my clients to start with and the resources to enable you to start right away.
- learn what nutrient deficiencies are the most common and what to do about them.
- learn how to bust through all kinds of health and fitness plateaus naturally.
- all kinds of resources where I get my knowledge.
Click here to meet with me.
Increase your energy, looks, and physical capabilities to improve your confidence, which spills over into every aspect of your life. Become an overachiever by doing what overachievers do. Become someone people envy and live a happier more positive lifestyle.
Click here to meet with me.
I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!
SIGN UP FOR MY FREE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
- May 2018
- Apr 24, 2018 Should YOU Avoid Cruciferous vegetables? Apr 24, 2018
- Mar 5, 2018 Getting Fat Adapted Mar 5, 2018
- February 2018
- Jan 29, 2018 John Kellogg Invented Corn Flakes To Decrease Libido... Jan 29, 2018
- Jan 22, 2018 How To Increase Your Productivity By 19-37% Jan 22, 2018
- Jan 15, 2018 New Year's Resolutions Jan 15, 2018
- Dec 18, 2017 Dec 18, 2017
- Dec 14, 2017 Dec 14, 2017
- Dec 4, 2017 Life Changing Events Part 2 Dec 4, 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- Jul 28, 2017 Ya, why not? No worry, chicken curry. Jul 28, 2017
- May 1, 2017 The Warm Up May 1, 2017
- Apr 5, 2017 A Couple Cool Tricks To Get Abs Apr 5, 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- Dec 20, 2016 How to Manipulate Your Hormones for Fitness and Health Dec 20, 2016
- Dec 12, 2016 My Global TV Segment With Kent Morrison Dec 12, 2016
- Nov 21, 2016 Meet Kyle! Nov 21, 2016
- Nov 14, 2016 Want Better Mental Clarity With More Energy and Less Stress? Nov 14, 2016
- Nov 7, 2016 What's the Big Food Enemy These Days? Nov 7, 2016
- Oct 31, 2016 How To Do A Ketogenic Diet Oct 31, 2016
- Oct 24, 2016 Having Trouble Losing Weight or Increasing Muscle? Oct 24, 2016
- Oct 17, 2016 60% of those who have this…don’t know it! Oct 17, 2016
- Oct 11, 2016 Do You Know The Facts About Eating Fats? Oct 11, 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- Jul 28, 2016 Why Do People Eat Breakfast Food At Breakfast? Jul 28, 2016
- Jul 4, 2016 It’s Time You Knew the Truth About Why You’re Fat! Jul 4, 2016
- Jun 27, 2016 Why Do Most People Call An Ambulance? Besides Loneliness Jun 27, 2016
- Jun 20, 2016 10 Reasons Why Bread Is Bad For You Jun 20, 2016
- Jun 13, 2016 What You Can Add To Your Workout To Improve It Immediately Jun 13, 2016
- Jun 6, 2016 What Vegans Know That You Don’t Jun 6, 2016
- May 30, 2016 Morning Mojo May 30, 2016
- May 24, 2016 Is Your Vitamin Supplement Doing More Harm Than Good? May 24, 2016
- May 16, 2016 How To Increase Brain Function May 16, 2016
- May 9, 2016 21 Day Stress Relief Challenge May 9, 2016
- May 3, 2016 The Shady Business May 3, 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- Feb 29, 2016 Chronic Mental Stress Feb 29, 2016
- Feb 26, 2016 15 Essential Fat Loss Tips Feb 26, 2016
- Feb 22, 2016 The Hunger Hormones Feb 22, 2016
- Feb 15, 2016 Leaky Gut Syndrome Feb 15, 2016
- Feb 8, 2016 What's With the Bean? Feb 8, 2016
- Feb 1, 2016 Having Trouble With Weight Loss? Maybe It's Your Thyroid Feb 1, 2016
- Jan 31, 2016 My Favorite Weight Loss Diet Jan 31, 2016
- Jan 26, 2016 How To Cheat A Cheat Meal Jan 26, 2016
- Jan 25, 2016 Super Strength Tips Jan 25, 2016
- Jan 18, 2016 3 Terms You Need to Know if You Are Looking to Lose Weight Jan 18, 2016
- Jan 8, 2016 Why Is Dairy Bad For You? Jan 8, 2016
- Jan 8, 2016 How To Eat Before, During, and After A Workout Jan 8, 2016
- Jan 8, 2016 Top 5 Reasons To Take Omega 3's Jan 8, 2016