Monday, June 8, 2015

Lifting My Own Dead Weight

I never cease to amaze myself when it comes to going to the gym and getting healthy. Over the last couple of weeks I have been doing images and videos of myself doing common exercises so that I can place them in my Gym Tips each day, and coincidentally ended up getting a lot of content. I have talked about this in my Blogaholics Anonymous posts, as what a great way it was to add value to my brand, as simple as it is to do. What I didn’t see happening was by doing a lot of these “extra” exercises that I rarely do, I would have so many aches and pains. This is not a bad thing really, because a lot of these aches and pains are telling me things that I need to know.

For example, my hamstrings have been tight and sore for about a week. This could be a setback to many people, but as many know, I am not many people. What I was able to deduce from all of this is that my hamstrings are in serious need of work. Hamstrings of course aren’t one of the muscles you show off, or really care that much about until they are sore. The exercises that really got to them were the variety of dead lifts I did, be it the Romanian or the Straight Leg, I have no doubt that I need to keep these in my rotation at least for the time being. They are of course a staple for the hard core bodybuilder, but even for the health aficionado like myself that wouldn’t usually be labeled “hard core” there is some data to be looked into.

Now of course I am fortunate that my “Legs” day also happens to be my “Lower Torso” day. A maneuver like the straight leg dead lift, is for the back end (hamstrings, glutes and lower back) and has very little to do with the muscles I usually associate with leg day, although all three get a passive work out from leg presses. The Romanian dead lift on the other hand did actually make me feel better, in the stamina department. You’re never too old to learn I guess. For those that are wondering if these two exercises are for them, here are the instructions from my gym encyclopedia of leg exercises. Five them a try, even with very little weight you will feel a difference, and it will help with your posture.

Romanian Dead Lift
Target MusclesGluteus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Hip flexors, Lower back, Adductors, Latissimus dorsi, Trapezius, Abdominals
Starting Position:
1. Stand in front of the barbell with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart.
2. Bend your legs until your hips and knees are at the same level, keeping your rib cage up and your head level. Your back should be straight, at a 45° angle to the floor.
3. Grasp the bar, with your hands just over shoulder-width apart, one overhand, the other under. This will facilitate better balance and keep the barbell in the same plane.
The Movement:
1. Using the power of your legs and hips, and keeping your arms straight, lift the bar from the floor until your legs are straight. The bar should be against the upper part of your thighs. Hold for a count of one.
2. Slowly return the bar to the floor, keeping your torso erect, arms straight and head up, eyes looking forwards. Your chest should be slightly forwards and over the bar.
• Keep your back straight - i.e. in its normal position - throughout the movement. Do not lean forwards.
• Keep the bar as close as possible to your legs throughout the movement.
• Make sure your knees travel in line with your toes - do not allow them to travel inwards.
On a Block: Stand on a low, sturdy block or platform so that the bar is at the same level as your feet. This increases the range of motion and therefore it benefits your body more.

Video Provided From JeremyCrow4YouTube

Straight-leg Dead Lift
Target MusclesHamstrings, Gluteus, Lower Back
Starting Position:
1. Grasp a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, using an overhand grip.
2. Stand up straight, looking directly ahead.
The Movement:
1. Keep your back flat and legs nearly straight.
2. Bend forwards from the hips until your back is parallel to the ground. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. As you bend forwards, your hips and glutes should move backwards and your body should be centred through your heels.
3. At the bottom of the movement, do not allow the weight to touch the floor and don't round your back.
4. Hold for a count of one then forcefully contract your gluteus and hamstrings to raise your torso back into the erect starting position.
• Keep your back flat. Rounding your back will increase the risk of injury.
• Do not lower the bar too far. The bar should be hanging at arms' length below you. Going below this point hyper flexes the spine, putting it in a vulnerable position and increasing injury risk to the lower back.

Video Provided From JeremyCrow4YouTube