It’s official. I’m moving back to Upstate New York and will be opening Capital District Sport and Fitness this spring. Creating CDSF has been many years in the works and is something I’ve envisioned since I first stepped into the weight room as a skinny high school freshman back in 2004. I truly believe the gym is one of the most powerful environments there is to promote change. What I used to think of as a place that exists solely to improve your aesthetics and strength now means much more to me.
The off-season can pass by in the blink of an eye. Even though the cold and dark months between November and March remind you nothing of the game of baseball they are the most crucial for ensuring you’ll be at your best come opening day. What you do with these months is what separates you from, and elevates you above, other players.
The ability to squat is one of the most basic human movements. Unfortunately as we age, experience injury, and spend long periods of time sitting at desks and in the car our body loses the valuable mobility that it once had. Loss of mobility in our hips, spine, shoulders, or ankles can make the back squat a difficult and awkward feeling exercise to perform. And despite all of these common mobility restrictions the back squat is one of the most frequently performed exercises in the gym.
Because a mobility restriction makes back squatting a higher risk exercise to perform does this mean that squatting is something you should be avoiding when in the gym? Not necessarily. Like most other exercises you can always make modifications in order to make it safer and more effective for you.
No one has ever gotten weaker from bench pressing, barbell overhead pressing, or back squatting. But many have been injured and have experienced setbacks from incorrectly performing or programming these lifts. When training with these exercises, an injury is most likely to occur for at least one of these four reasons:
- Incorrect Technique
- Poor Mobility
- Too Much Volume in the Gym (Too many sets & reps)
- Too Much Volume from Activities Outside of the Gym
The goal of this article is to educate you on why the overhead athlete is more susceptible to encounter injury from bench pressing, barbell overhead pressing, and back squatting. Once you understand the reasoning for avoiding these exercises, we’ll cover three exercises you should be performing instead that’ll allow you train similar muscles, while keeping your joints in safer positions.
Sometimes getting to the gym isn’t feasible for a variety of reasons. Life gets busy, you end up having to stay at work late, pick up your kids, or travel. These busy times are stressful enough and become even more stressful when you view working out as black and white. If you view exercise as black and white you may think things like:
- If I’m not strength training at a high intensity then I’m not getting better
- If I don’t run as far or at as fast of a pace as last time the run was a waste of my time.
- If I’m not laying in a pile of my own sweat trying to catch my breath it wasn’t a good workout
This type of mindset can help push people towards making their workouts a priority in their life and drive them to be consistent enough to reach their goals, but it can also increase your stress levels, make you feel irritable, and make you no fun to live with or be around, especially when life throws you a curveball.