Training Tip of the Month
“Learning to modify traditional exercises in the gym is an easy way to prolong your lifting career.”
Here are three examples of how you can make small changes to the bench press, deadlift, and overhead press.
DB Floor Press
Lying on the floor instead of a bench allows you to shorten the range of motion of your shoulder joint. This makes the lift less stressful for your rotator cuff, pec tendon, and biceps tendon at the bottom position. Plus, the use of dumbbells allows you to keep your shoulder joint in a more neutral position that takes stress off of your rotator cuff while still training your pecs and triceps.
Trap Bar Deadlift
This piece of equipment is not common in most commercial gyms. But, if you’re a fan of deadlifting the trap bar is a great way to still train the lift if you have decreased mobility in your hips or spine. It is also wise to program phases with decreased range of motion lifts throughout the year to help keep your joints healthy.
Landmine Push Press
The push press is a typically done by pressing a barbell explosively from the front of your shoulders overhead. To make the lift more shoulder friendly try doing the landmine version of the lift. This will decrease the mobility demands of your shoulder and still allow you to train dynamically overhead.
This article got me thinking about what the three most important factors are for staying healthy when taking part in an exercise program and how doing something as simple as going for a walk outside has so many benefits for your health.
Important Factors For Staying Healthy While Exercising
1. Learn to Move Well & Move Your Joints Through their Full Range of Motion Daily
2. Make Time for Aerobic Exercise
3. Get Outdoors
The third is often neglected, and arguably is the most important because it allows you to combine movement and aerobic training. In a culture where we’re spending long days inside and in front of the screen you need to develop ways to combat these habits that can be detrimental to your health.
By now most of us know that our bodies are made for movement. Movement is what keeps your joints functioning well, keeps your heart healthy, and can even help with executive function, learning, and memory.
Aerobic exercise also comes with it’s own list of benefits. Beyond improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of heart disease, aerobic exercise can also:
- Reduce anxiety and stress levels by reducing sympathetic nervous system responses to stress
- Increase your cardiac output which will allow you to recover faster in between competition and workouts
- Increase the volume of the prefrontal and temporal cortex in aging populations. These two regions are commonly affected in Alzheimer’s disease.
- Improve your pain tolerance both acutely and chronically.
So, how do you combine movement and aerobic training?
Long before the days of automobiles, computers, and Netflix we were living in nature and had to work for what we wanted. Humans had to run, climb, throw things, and navigate the great outdoors. This leads us into the third most important factor for staying healthy while exercising.
Being outside pulls you away from the screens, the stresses, and the constant noise driving small sympathetic responses in your body throughout the day. It’s a great way to escape, increase your mood, and get back to doing what our bodies have always been meant to do.
Start small and find 30-60 minutes where you can go for a walk, preferably on a trail, or a quiet area. Wear a heart rate monitor and try to keep your heart rate between 120-150 bpm, where you’ll get the aerobic benefits listed above.
Injuries and setbacks are common in training and athletics. Sometimes injuries can even last longer than you think and start to cause problems in other aspects of life. Learn how Katie has been able to get out of pain, get back to her life, and begin working out and playing soccer and basketball again on a regular basis.