Weird Movement Gurus = Fucktards
My main issue the last few years actually just boils down to my legs. I've torn my adductors and strained my vastus medialis fairly often squatting. Other than that I really stay healthy. My elbows get achy sometimes, as does my pec minors, but that's from having a permanent AC separation in my left shoulder. So I am not physiologically correct in alignment. There isn't anything that can be done for this, so I don't worry about it. I just manage my movements to avoid the least amount of pain. I have found that when I can't close grip bench (more on that later) that I can incline. And for whatever reason, if my incline goes up, usually my close grip does as well. I will not try to understand this at all. I will just appreciate it.
So basically after dealing with straining my adductors over and over I decided to get serious about strengthening them. I was told I needed to do all sorts of shit like lunges on a box and add a band for this and I said fuck no. I got on the leg adductor machine (you know, because it works your fucking adductors?) and went to town. Turns out, my groin and adductors were weak. Who knew? I could barely do 10-12 reps with 80 pounds. Over the course of the next few months I worked up to close to the whole stack (150) for sets of 10. No more straining adductors during warm ups or even with near max attempts.
It turns out that what gave next was my vastus medialis. Now of course, after the adductor strain I didn't even bother to read. I knew everyone who say that leg extensions were worthless. I read this same shit about the adductor machine. And BTW, you know who used the shit out of the adductor machine in his Godly prime? Ed Coan. Anyway, some retarded training guru will say that leg extensions are worthless for strengthening the VMO. This honestly flies in the face of all common sense. The last 20-30 degrees of ROM in the leg extension, the vastus works its nuts off (if the vastus had nuts, I mean). The last 20 degrees is a staple in the PT's office for people post knee surgery.
So I will be keeping in the good girl machine, and adding in leg extensions to keep my legs healthy. I don't need some unorthodox movement to do this.
I've heard the same shit for leg curls. That the hip extension isn't involved so the leg curl isn't worth a shit for hamstring strengthening.
I also want to be clear here that in the past in dealing with injuries, some of the help I have sought out turned out to be such bunk because what would always end up being the "fix" was something simple that I already knew. Eventually I caught on that the only thing these weird movements fix, is making you good at weird movements.
Anyone ever pulled a hamstring running? It's basically the same damn motion. The foot hits the ground, and the hamstring contracts to propel you forward. The same motion is used in a leg curl. Guess what movement you can't do when you strain your hammy? Yeah, a fucking leg curl. I was still able to do good mornings and stiff legs with a strained hamstring, but I could barely do anything on the leg curl. Seems like a decent way to strengthen the hamstring.
Back to my close grip benching, this has saved my shoulders. I do almost no pre-hab work for my shoulders and I really do think it's all due to moving my grip in a couple of years ago. Me shoulders have never had a problem because of benching. It's better in my opinion, to shave off a few pounds on your bench and not be injured or nursing an injury, than to bench more but not be able to bench consistently. This should be obvious.
So with that said, we can do a run down of some common issues and some real "common sense" exercises to keep in the mix to prevent it.
- Quads - Leg Extensions, Lunges
- Adductors - Adductor Machine
- IT Band and Glute Medius and Piriformis - Abductor Machine and 1 legged squats
Shoulder and Pec PreHab
- Lying External Rotation or Seated External Rotation (I prefer these because it locks in the elbow)
- Front Raises (suspraspinatus)
- Shoulder Dislocates
- Flat and Incline Db Flyes
Low back pain and/or Strains (including piriformis which is usually the cause of most "low back pain")
- Piriformis stretch
You can easily incorporate all of these into your routine without much hassle. Just do the big, main movement. Then follow that up with some of the prehab work.
Just to add a few suggestions and some things to remember.....
On machine you can push the loading harder than on something like dumbbell flyes. But you still don't want to be smashing the god damn weights up and down all over the place. Slow negative, explosive positive. That's how it should be. On a movement like db flyes, remember what you are using them for. To prevent pec strains and tears. Don't end up overloading so much so that the db flye actually causes the problem it is trying to prevent. That's going full retard. I use sets of 20 on them and go light with a controlled movement. Same thing for the external rotation stuff.
If you've had problem or want to avoid problems with injuries in the future, be mindful of where you have had little knick knacks and get shit corrected before it puts you down.