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27th September 2015 - Don't do behind the neck pull-downs!

Save your joints

If you are new to weight training then you may not know that some exercises are harder on your joints and ligaments than others. In actual fact some exercises are way worse than others, and with some you'd be crazy to do them at all!

Each of us has tremendously different body shapes - some of us have wide hips, or narrow shoulders, some of us are amazingly flexible whilst others have longer legs or arms. This has an effect on which exercises suit us more than others. The only 100% way to identify which exercises we should avoid is to listen to your body!

If your shoulder joints, or knees or elbows etc. ache or hurt the day or two after you've trained then examine the exercises you did carefully and try to figure out which one(s) don't suit your body shape.

One exercise I can definitely recommend you avoid is the behind the neck pull-down or chin-up. This has wrecked more shoulder joints than I've had hot dinners. Next time your perform this exercise (if you have to, that is - I seriously recommend that you do the front, to the chest version instead) feel how twisted round your shoulders feel and how tight it is - you are right at the extreme range of movement in your shoulders and this is extremely precarious for your shoulders.

The tendons and ligaments are at their full stretch, leaving the joints dangerously exposed as the integrity of the joint is at it's weakest. If your form slackens off just a bit then the chance of injury is high.

So, avoid dangerous exercises that don't suit your body and especially avoid behind the neck pull-downs. Do front pull downs instead.