- Work Your Abs to Get a Strong Core
As I mentioned in my article “What Is Your Core?” building a strong, stable core is NOT done by working your abdominals like it is your job. Building a strong core involves strengthening your lower back muscles, glutes and all the muscles that help you stay upright. With this said, this does not mean that you should neglect your abdominals, they still need to be worked just like every other muscle.
- Squats are Bad for Your Knees
Squats are one of the best exercises anyone can do to improve core and total body strength. Often times, squats are done incorrectly and people tend to injure their knees first. When performing squats, you must first sit your hips back like you are sitting into a chair. Frequently, people will want to bend their knees first which is where the knee problems come into play. You want to make sure that your knees do not go in front of your toes or else you run the risk of placing unnecessary pressure on your knees. Also, you want to ensure that your weight is in the back two-thirds of your foot. Make sure you have a qualified, experienced personal trainer assess your squat from before you start performing squats on your own.
- To Gain Muscle, You Must Eat Mostly Protein
Eating an excessive amount of protein does not mean that you will put on more muscle mass. While you should be eating a little over 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight to gain muscle mass, carbohydrates are your best friend while putting on size and improving strength. When you lift weights, you primarily use carbohydrates for your energy source. What happens when you do not eat enough carbohydrates? Your body will need to produce the carbohydrates necessary by converting protein to glycogen so you can use it for energy. This is a very inefficient way for your body to operate and can take a toll on your body in the long run. People who eat low-carb, high-protein diets tend to end up losing strength and muscle mass.
- Deadlifts are Bad for Your Back
Deadlifts done incorrectly are bad for your back. When done correctly, deadlifts make be the single best exercise anyone can perform. Deadlifts work nearly every muscle in your body, strengthens your core and improves your functional strength. Also, due to the amount of muscle mass used during a deadlift it burns more calories than most exercises. It is EXTREMELY important to be taught proper form on a deadlift by an experienced, qualified personal trainer so that you do not injure yourself.
- Stretch Before Your Workout to Prevent Injury
Static stretching before a workout is the most popular way people attempt to warm up before a workout. However, studies are now showing there is no evidence that stretching before a workout reduces the risk for injury. In fact, some studies even show that it may INCREASE your risk for injury if you only static stretch before a workout. Dynamic stretches/exercises are a much more effective and safer way to warm up before you start your workout.