I am quickly approaching the fitness business for a decade and a half and have come to realize that it is an industry that is struggling with an identity crisis.
It wants to be more scientific, academic and “employee” than it really is. Perhaps this is a compensation for all the jewelry that dismisses it as nothing more than a sandpit job populated by people who are little more than paid motivators.
The result is the “Trainer Peacock Walk” – the insecure revelation of encyclopedic terms and esoteric terminology that either impresses customers or other trainers … or discourages them.
As a result, many young trainers have adopted a range of general terms, pointers and early conclusions without checking their validity. This is how Broscience is created. But let̵
1 – “You have tight hip flexors!”
This is probably the coaching cue for blaming that causes me the most heartburn. Nine out of ten cases is “tightness” really showing weakness elsewhere.
We must strive for structural balance for good health. This means that the muscles on both sides of a bearing joint must be strong enough to carry their own cross, so to speak, to contribute to a properly functioning, healthy joint. The following really happens:
This is a common cause of irregular pelvic functions. Remember the glutes are posterior inclinations of the pelvis. Once they can contract tightly, they help reduce the lower back arch and counteract the hip flexors that pull up on the other side. In short, properly functioning gluteus muscles balance the pelvis.
Hip anatomy / pelvic structure
You may not be able to squat low without looking like an invalid trying to get out of the toilet because your hips just weren’t built for deep squatting.
Depending on the depth of your acetabular cups, the angle of your femoral neck, and the placement of the acetabular cups in the pelvis itself, your own skeleton can prevent you from squatting far below the parallel.
If this is the case, your hip flexors have nothing to do with the problem – regardless of whether they are “tight as a rope” or not.
That doesn’t sound intuitive, but tight muscles can also be weak muscles. This is something that is underestimated in terms of the hips.
For a good squat or split squat, the psoas muscles have to shorten eccentrically to pull the hips into a low-lying position. No power, no dice.
The next time someone tells you that your ugly squat is due to tight hips, tap him up on the head. Then do this exercise:
Tennis ball glute bridge
This is the money for “tight hip flexors”. It is a surefire way to restore or restore pelvic balance by going through a hip extension that engages on both sides of the pelvis.
Simply insert a tennis ball or two into the crease between the top of your thigh and the bottom of your hip and keep them there throughout the movement.
The psoas have to work very hard to hold the tennis ball in place through the end areas, and the glutes have to work just as hard on the planted leg to achieve full hip extension.
If the hips are not strong enough, the ball jumps out of the court. Conversely, if your glutes aren’t strong enough, your body won’t expand completely.
2 – “Oh-Oh, you’re Quad Dominant!”
If your ACE-certified fitness advisor in your neighborhood gym gives you a free evaluation – you know, those who want to excuse your weaknesses and include you in a contract – there is a 90 percent chance that part of the sales tactic will be there is to talk about the quad dominance problems you have.
I have news for you. Everyone is “Quad dominant!”
Put everyone in a one minute “wall sit test” and they’ll say they can feel it in their quads. The same applies to almost every major movement of the lower body. To call someone “quad dominant” because of such movements is inaccurate because zero percent of the population will ever feel such movements predominantly in their hamstrings or even in their glutes.
However, I recognize that this term can come from good intentions. If someone tends to raise their heels while crouching, roll towards their big toes, and move their knees forward before anything else happens, they can count on their quads to carry most of the load.
But that’s a very different story. Someone who dominates an exercise with their quads has a completely different meaning and effect than what some trainers understand by the term “quad dominant”.
Quads should be dominant. Everyone is quad dominant. There are four main muscles on the front of the thigh compared to three main muscles on the back. Overall, the four muscles on the front are stronger and generally produce more strength than the three on the back.
In my career I have never met someone who is “thigh dominant” or “buttock dominant”. We have to stop throwing this term around.
Knowledge of the inherent quad dominance should not prevent you from doing exercises with the quads or making them stronger. Many fitness assessors will prevent new lifters from doing lifts like squats or deadlifts based on the thought that they are likely to worsen the bad habits and “problems” they have found.
In fact, poorly trained movements with poor technique will exacerbate these problems. Enough scaremongering.
The money for “Quad domination?” Breaks. Make compound moves, but add pauses to your repetitions.
Deadlift held (concentric pause)
I’m a fan of breaks and tempos to increase exercise intensity (and help a lifter stay true to his strength and technique), but they also have another advantage.
When it comes to squats and deadlifts, you can keep the geometry you need during breaks to use the right muscles at the right time. A common problem with both squats and deadlifts is the tendency to jump too far forward with the upper body. This can really jack up a deadlift’s back or force a squat to loosen his heels, forcing him to use more quads and spine erectors.
If you take the weight back 20% and freeze on the floor or even part of the way up, the back chain muscles can get a struggling chance to contribute.
3 – “Your glutes don’t fire!”
Kill me now. The mere idea that a muscle simply does not activate, does not contract, or exhibits “amnesia” within a workout shakes the foundation on which the “all or nothing” principle is based.
Muscles have only one role: contraction. You can do this strongly if you are strong. You can do this weakly if you are weak.
If you are not properly trained or are not neuromuscularly coordinated, this deficiency (combined with weakness) can reduce a muscle’s contribution to an exercise for which it is intended. But under no circumstances will a muscle “stop shooting”.
If you don’t have a neurological disability, all you have to do is focus on getting stronger, which is not a complicated process. Interestingly, trainers rarely use this statement about other muscle groups. I haven’t heard anyone say that someone’s biceps, triceps, pectoral muscles, lats or calves are not firing, so I see no reason to use them to discuss buttock function.
The money for “your glutes don’t shoot?” Get mobile.
There is not a single exercise that can solve the problem. However, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that you are able to integrate the joints and achieve full freedom of movement at the hip to prepare for success.
Your muscles have no chance of getting strong if they can’t even reach a range of motion to make a contribution. Movements such as spider-man walks, low-body squats, and high-knee walks should be part of your routine.
4 – “You have to avoid pushing, dude!”
You may have a habit of exercising your upper traps, front delts, and chest more than your back, and that would be a problem. But the idea that an imbalance in strength or even physique between your front and back muscles means that you should “avoid printing” is ridiculous.
Trainers often say this to avoid the risk of injury. Although training the tensile patterns can definitely play a big role in improving the strength and stability of presses, pressing is the only real way to get stronger while pressing. This advice naturally applies to every exercise.
There is a high possibility that your muscles are vulnerable to injury and suck your squeeze pattern and posture because you are just weak due to lack of exposure. Look, the human body is as fragile and prone to injury as it is strong, adaptable and resilient.
This means that we shouldn’t forget one side of the coin; Underestimating the body’s potential is the worst mistake we can make when we make profits, and it’s a big rabbit hole that overly cautious trainers or lifters fall into to never show up.
The money for “avoiding pressure?” Press smart.
Removing a necessary movement pattern from the picture differs from the statement that you will stop pressing the barbell bench. Instead of forbidding any particular pushing movement, you should find ways to carry the load overhead and horizontally without causing pain, while still exposing your joints to some resistance and load tolerance. Here are three good examples:
Half-kneeling landmine press
Squat Cage Viking Press
Let’s stop scaring
There will of course be times when a recommendation is just right, but the real problem is probably not some sort of hackneyed clue passed down from generation to generation.
To be an informed lifter, ask questions. A good trainer either has the answers or can refer you to someone who can provide them.
Our bodies are able to do work, and while creating several limitations to our program design by a fitness professional may sound “intelligent” (and sometimes even correct), we must not forget that in many cases it is just a sales tactic acts.
Related: 4 myths that many lifters actually believe
Related: The 5 Stupidest Muscle Myths