Monday, February 09, 2009

One Thing You Should NOT Do In the Gym

Had a great workout on a nice spring day here in Toronto. Unfortunately, I saw a common mistake in the gym today that you have to avoid, and that is...

Rounding your lower back when lifting weights.

You must avoid doing this. As you can see from our little cartoon on the site, your vertebral discs get squished when you round your low back...and it's worse when you add resistance to the situation.

So if you are doing deadlifts, dumbbell rows, dumbbell squats, RDL's, etc, do not let your low back round. Brace your abs and keep a strong arch in your low back.

And one more thing...many folks do a good job of using the right form in those exercises, but then totally neglect their low back when the pick up dumbbells from the floor or off a low rack. You must remember the "no rounding your low back" rule when picking up dumbbells (or anything) from the floor.

Bend your knees and arch your back instead. Stay safe!

OK, so here's how my workout went...

1) Barbell Snatch - 2x5

2A) Wide-stance Squat - 3x6
2B) Pullups - 14,9,7,3

3A) Full Squat - 4x10
3B) Face pull - 3x10

4A) Back Extension - 3x8
4B) Hanging Knee Raises - 3x8

Tough workout. Nice walk home in the sunshine.

Great day today,


PS - Big things coming in the next 7 days from Turbulence Training including...

...the annual Ballantyne's Day Sale!


...TT goes Global...

Stay tuned!


Tim the Trainer said...

I totally agree Craig, especially the part that people don't round their back but do when lifting the first time ie., off rack.

It only takes one wrong lift to break the camels back!

Cheers Tim

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

great point Tim!

Laura said...

Great post! I really like the Waiter's Bow exercise as a way to get clients out of the habit of rounding their low backs when they deadlift or perform good mornings. Extra stretching for the hamstrings can also help people keep good form on deadlifts since the low back inevitably is going to go into flexion if the hamstrings don't have proper extensibility. Doing a zillion crunches doesn't help either!

Fred said...

Great tip! I often see people rounding their backs on deadlifts and then using their backs instead of their legs (even worse) to lift the weight.
One tip a 'seaoned musclehead' in my gym told me was to look up a bit at a spot on the wall right before you do the lift. It creates a natural arch in your lower back...

Great post...

Alex Poole said...

Hi Craig,

Love your comments, your much calmer about it than I am in and why I teach the importance of posture and technique in everything you do in the gym.

Keep up the great posts.


Strong One said...

Ergonomics 101: safety first.
When lifting object (even dumbbells) you always lift with your legs, and bend at the knees.. not your waist.
Great advice.