The following are some of the most common problems with your body. You may have many of them or none at all. But if you do, they’re very likely to cause pain when performing any exercise. They can’t be fixed by just doing what’s recommended on the internet, because there isn’t enough evidence to support it! If you want to improve your health and fitness, then you need to start looking for real evidence-based information that will actually work for YOU!
1. Muscles don’t grow properly
Muscle growth is one of the best ways to improve strength and muscle mass. However, not all muscles grow equally well, and some won’t grow at all. This means that your gains will be less than they could be.
If you think about it, why would someone train their muscles if they aren’t going to get results?
There must be something wrong with the way they’re training them! And there probably is!
If you’ve ever done any kind of weight training, you’ll know that each muscle group needs to be trained separately. For example, the biceps might benefit from isolation exercises such as curls and tricep extensions, while the quads might benefit from squats and leg presses. These are called “muscle groups” because they’re made up of separate muscle fibers (cells) which are responsible for different tasks. When these cells contract together, they produce force. The strength of that force is based on how many cells are working together, as well as how strong those cells are individually.
For example, a body builder might have huge biceps that aren’t particularly strong compared to their smaller quads. This is because their quadriceps (the muscle in the front of the thigh) contain hundreds more muscle fibers than their biceps, so naturally they’re going to be stronger and take up more space. The easiest way to train all of the muscle groups is to work opposing muscle groups at the same time, such as chest and back, or legs and arms.
The problem with this is that it doesn’t take advantage of the separate strength and size properties of each muscle group. Most people who only train one muscle group at a time tend to neglect either their upper body or lower body workout, leading to sub-par gains in either strength or size. This can be fixed by training opposing muscle groups in the same day, or even during the same workout. So if you trained chest and back in the same session, that would mean your working the pectorialis major and latissimus dorsi (chest and back) at the same time, leading to better gains in both size and strength.
2. Muscles are uneven
Another common issue is having one muscle that’s either stronger or larger than its opposing muscle. This can be fixed by altering the exercise to make sure that each muscle is worked equally. For example, if your quads are considerably stronger than your hamstrings, you could add a leg curl into your workout to specifically target your hamstrings and make them stronger. In addition to being stronger, bigger muscles produce more force. This is why strong people tend to be big people, and vice versa.
So if you want to get stronger, you need to train for size as well.
The most important muscle groups in bodybuilding are the chest, back and legs (the biggest), and the biceps, triceps and shoulders (the strongest). While some of the smaller muscle groups should be trained as well, such as the neck and core, it’s not so much for strength as it is for balance and symmetry. If one side is bigger or stronger than the other, it’ll throw off your posture and make you look strange.
3. Muscles grow in groups
While muscles are made up of many smaller cells called muscle fibers, they don’t all grow at the same rate or strength. In fact, the only reason some grow larger or stronger than others is due to the demands placed on them. For example, your deltoids (shoulders) are responsible for raising your arms up over your head, so it’s only natural that the ones most frequently used would be stronger and larger than the rest. Your hip and leg muscles are rarely used for anything other than basic movement, so they don’t get much attention.
The easiest way to make sure every muscle gets the same amount of work is to use good form. If you’re doing squats, make sure you nice and deep and squeeze your butt so that you’re using your hips. Don’t just thrust with your legs and use your lower back. The same rule applies to all exercises. Make sure to squeeze and contract the muscle that you’re targeting.
Another way is to simply train all of the smaller muscles as well, such as the ones in your back or hips, since they rarely get stimulated during working out.
The Most Important Workout Tip Of All: Consistency
Once you know how the muscles grow and how to train them, it’s all about consistency. Muscles don’t grow in the gym; they grow when your body is at rest. This is why sleep and nutrition are just as important as your training. You can’t expect to get big and strong on five hours of sleep and a diet of nothing but candy and soda.
That’s why you need to start out slowly. Don’t try to do everything at once. Pick a goal such as building muscle or getting strong on a certain exercise, and focus all of your attention on that one thing. It doesn’t matter if you’re “advancing in strength” when you’re “losing gains in size”. Take it from someone who’s made this mistake before.
It’s better to be impressive than impressive looking. Focus on one goal at a time and give it 100%. If you continue to do this, you’ll not only reach your goals, you’ll surpass them. Happy lifting!
Sources & references used in this article:
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Functional training: fad or here to stay? by SG Beckham, M Harper – ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, 2010 – journals.lww.com
Efficacy of the functional movement screen: a review by K Kraus, E Schütz, WR Taylor… – The Journal of Strength & …, 2014 – journals.lww.com
The effect of an intervention program on functional movement screen test scores in mixed martial arts athletes by JG Bodden, RA Needham… – The Journal of Strength …, 2015 – journals.lww.com
Can the Functional Movement Screen be Used as an Assessment Tool for Improving Movement Patterns in Collegiate Dancers? by E Barnes – 2018 – repository.flsouthern.edu