Introduction: Maintaining a healthy workout routine is crucial for overall well-being, but it's important to be mindful of certain exercises that may do more harm than good. In this blog post, we will explore some workout practices that you should consider avoiding due to their potential negative effects on your joints and posture. Let's dive in!
Stretching Your Hamstrings: Release, Don't Stretch: One common misconception is that stretching your hamstrings is beneficial for joint flexibility. However, according to fitness expert Brian Gryn, static stretching of the hamstrings may not be as advantageous as we think. Gryn suggests that the hamstrings, being naturally long muscles, don't require additional stretching. Instead, he recommends focusing on releasing the lateral hamstrings using a ball or similar tools. This approach can help prevent unnecessary strain and potential injuries caused by excessive hamstring stretching.
The Pitfalls of Hanging Leg Raises: Hanging leg raises are often seen as an effective exercise for targeting the abdominal muscles. While they may indeed engage the abs, it's essential to be cautious about the strain they put on the hip flexors, specifically the psoas muscles. Brian Gryn warns that overworking the psoas muscles through hanging leg raises can lead to future complications and injuries. Although this exercise has its merits, it's advisable to explore alternative methods for working your abs that don't excessively stress the hip flexors.
Glute Activation for Deadlifts: Deadlifts are excellent compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups, including the hamstrings. However, Brian Gryn emphasizes the significance of prioritizing glute activation rather than solely relying on the hamstrings during deadlifts. To activate the glutes effectively, Gryn suggests incorporating exercises such as glute bridges into your warm-up routine. This technique helps ensure that you're primarily utilizing your glutes rather than placing excessive strain on the hamstrings during deadlifts.
Balancing Chest and Back Workouts: Maintaining proper posture is crucial, particularly if you spend long hours sitting and working at a desk. Brian Gryn highlights the importance of balancing chest and back workouts to prevent rounded shoulders and worsening posture. While these muscle groups may seem opposing, they both contribute to internal rotation of the shoulders. To counteract this, it's essential to incorporate exercises that target the external rotators, such as the rear deltoids and rotator cuffs. By adding specific exercises for external rotation into your routine, you can promote better posture and avoid imbalances caused by excessive chest and back workouts.
Conclusion: As you strive to maintain a healthy workout routine, it's essential to be aware of exercises that may not be as beneficial as commonly believed. By avoiding static hamstring stretches, being cautious with hanging leg raises, prioritizing glute activation during deadlifts, and balancing chest and back workouts, you can safeguard your joint health and posture. Remember, it's always a good idea to consult with a fitness professional or physical therapist to tailor your workout regimen to your specific needs and goals. Stay mindful, listen to your body, and enjoy a safe and effective workout routine.
In this episode, you'll discover:
- Stretching your hamstrings through static stretches may not be necessary as they are naturally long muscles, so focus on releasing the lateral hamstrings instead.
- Be cautious with exercises like hanging leg raises, as they can strain the hip flexors and lead to potential complications and injuries in the future.
- Prioritize glute activation over relying solely on the hamstrings during deadlifts to reduce strain and promote proper muscle engagement. Additionally, balance chest and back workouts with exercises that target the external rotators to maintain good posture and prevent rounded shoulders.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Is there any workout out there that you would say, this is in a while in the commercial gym, you'll find machines like this, but you should totally ignore it and do not work it because it's not good for your joint or like not good for your posture? Um, are they, are they such things?
There are such things.
I'll tell you one thing that I stay away from for the most part, and people think like it's. Most people think that are in the health business, that this is advantageous and that's stretching your hamstrings. Yeah. So your, your hamstrings are actually a long muscle and don't need stretching. They, they actually need to release your, your lateral hamstrings with like a ball.
A lot of people think they should just be stretching and stretching a hamstring that's your hamstrings are already long. They don't need that. I learned that from a guy that I had on my podcast, Brent, Brooke Bush. I went through some of his trainings and he's more of like a physical therapy guy.
He stressed that a lot and I, it sort of opened my eyes. I'm like, God, all this hamstring stretching probably is causing injury. So that's one thing. Um, and so releasing, not stretching, releasing your lateral hamstring, not stretch. So that's one thing. Another one is probably like an exercise, like hanging leg raises.
And people think that they're hitting their abs. They're prob, they are probably hitting their abs, but they're also, um, tightening up their SOAs. That can cause a lot of strain down the road and cause injury. So I think there's certain exercises that are, you know, that's just one example like you mentioned, like I mentioned, hanging leg raises that people think they're doing good, maybe they're doing some good, but, but it's not, there's other ways to get around, you know, working your abs than, hey, hanging leg raises where you're also sort of overdoing your Soas.
So two questions on that. So the first question is the hamstring stretch, right? So, You're not, you're just talking about ge stationary stretch. You're not talking about, say with a weight, for example, like Roma in deadlift or like stiff leg. That doesn't count. Right? Right. That doesn't count. I'm talking about just static stretching of the hamstring.
You know, I'm a big believer in deadlifts, but the key with deadlifts is focusing on utilizing your glutes, not your hamstrings. Your hamstrings will work. It's sort of that. The secondary posterior chain. Yeah. Yeah. Your posterior chain, you are gonna work your. You are gonna work your, your, your hamstrings, but you, but it's mainly a glute exercise.
You know, it's your glutes are your biggest muscle, but one of the things you wanna do before you even do deadlifts is you want to sort of, like, you hear people talk about activating your glutes, you want to activate your glutes and then you'll, then you go into doing some deadlifts and focusing on, on that.
And so, and what's the best way to activate glutes? So it could be something as simple as, um, like bridges, you know, like GL bridges, where you're just laying on the ground and you know, Literally just going up and down, maybe putting a band, just above your knees and abducting a little bit. And, and that'll help activate your glutes.
You can sort of take your thumb and be like, am I using my glutes or am I using my hamstrings? And, and so it takes time to get to that point, but that, that would be like sort of a, a good sort of primer before you start doing some heavier lifts with like deadlifts and stuff. Got it. And then the second question I wanted to ask about the hanging leg raise is that, if you are doing lying leg raise, Would that be different in terms of dynamics to your SOAs?
Would it still tighten it or is it not? No leg ra, no leg raises at all. when you say lying leg raises, do you mean almost like mountain climbers? Uh, no. You literally lying on your back and then you just raise your legs? Yeah,that'll do the same thing. That'll do the same thing. Okay. Yeah. And I'm not saying you have to totally avoid those, but I think you can overdo it, right?
Like you can do like hanging like races every once in a while. You know, I think it's one thing that, you know, it's like, do you want to do that every time? No. And just one more thing I'll add is, I think posturally, if you're always doing chest and back, those are both internal rotators of your shoulders.
You're just gonna become more and more rounded. So you gotta make sure you balance that out and do some small muscle work. To oppose, you know, those, because I always thought people think, oh, I'm doing chest and I'm doing back, and there's a, they're opposing, but they're actually both, internally rotating your shoulders and be making you more, your posture even worse as opposed to, and you've been sitting all day staring at a screen and humped over and typing on a computer.
So you gotta really make sure you work those external rotators and do sort of these small muscle things maybe before or during or while you're resting in, in your workouts. To counteract these, these big muscles and how they'll sort of make you rounded. That's interesting. Yeah. So do you mean like you have to work the sort of rare delts and, and your, you know, on top of rotator cuffs?
Yeah, I mean, you know, you can just, like, honestly, what I would tell people is just, just Google like external rotation and they'll show you different ways that you can work. Um, The opposing muscles that are typically like shoulder external rotation. If you just Google that, you'll see plenty of exercises that you can do as a warmup before maybe you do a chest workout just to oppose.
When you're working your chest and your laps and things, those are actually ex external rotators. So it's like the, the small muscles.
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