Go to many social media fitness pages and you’ll see all kinds of posts like these:
“Stop deadlifting like this!”
“Top 10 worst exercises for your shoulder”
“Dealing with knee pain? Stop doing these!”
I can’t begin to describe how much I dislike this type of posting. Getting yourself to start working out and getting into a gym are very difficult things to do. There are enough barriers already.
We don’t need to hype up the fear that working out is so dangerous and that if you don’t do this “one shoulder exercise” correctly you’ll blow a rotator cuff.
So many clients that I’ve worked with have said that they were quote, “afraid to hurt themselves”, if they worked out on their own or they had hurt themselves already and didn’t want it to happen again.
And this pains me to hear because even though I make my living by coaching people, I don’t want the average person to not step foot in the gym because of this fear.
Of course, none of us want to be in pain and put on the sidelines because of an injury. But as I’ve said countless times, the risks of NOT working out will always exceed the risks of working out, even if it’s not 100% perfect and being designed by an expert coach who’s coaching expert “form” 100% of the time.
If there’s any statement that will quell your potential fears of hurting yourself lifting it’s this: the human body is extremely adaptable and there’s no perfect form that will keep you safe all the time.
There are one-armed athletes out there pulling hundreds of pounds worth of a clean and jerk with a rounded back and uneven-looking form, pain-free. They can do that safely because they’ve adapted to whatever “form” was necessary to perform the task.
We get injured when our tissues get overloaded, that is when the force being applied to them exceeds the tolerance of those tissues. That’s why even with so-called “perfect” form, you can still get hurt.
The point however is this, as long as you train with a solid range of motion and slowly progress over time, you will be just fine. There are no bad exercises. There’s no such thing really as bad form either. As long as you give your body a chance to adapt to the demands you are putting on it and give it a chance to recover, you will be just fine. As long as you don’t push through significant pain for a significant time, you will be just fine.
We should be promoting movement and strength training to everyone instead of scaring everyone off and making people think its inherently dangerous.
I can’t tell you how many people watch what I do as a powerlifter and say, “my back hurts just looking at that”. Meanwhile, my back is perfectly pain-free lifting 500+lbs and their back hurts from doing absolutely nothing.
Do you see the problem here?
If you do feel you need a coach to help keep you safe then that’s perfectly fine. But don’t use “fear of injury” as an excuse not to move because, as I’ve said previously, the risks of not strength training will always be greater.
To your good health,