Stop Destroying Your Delts With These 3 Mistakes At The Gym
You may feel that you are made of steel and cannot injure yourself by lifting. Okay, big guy. Keep telling yourself that and we’ll see you in a few weeks after you fuck up one of your shoulders – by far the easiest body part to hurt. And because your delts get involved with basically every upper body movement either as the primary or secondary muscle, a simple strain can effect having to change the exercises you do, your range of motion, the amount of weight used and even the number of reps.
Save yourself all of these inconveniences – and pain – by avoiding these asinine mistakes made all of the time in the gym:
1. NOT STRETCHING
Your muscles can take a pounding; we all know that from training and the subsequent growth. But they are also prone to injury and a little preventive maintenance goes a long way. The initial step is some static stretching and that will get not only your shoulders, but entire body ready for the workout. So make it a habit to do this first thing as soon as you exit the locker room and hit the gym floor.
Grab a hold of one of the stanchions holding up a cable crossover machine with one hand and twist your body towards it while keeping your arm extended. This will stretch out your shoulder, as well as your abdominal section. Then switch arms and repeat.
You should also grab the secure iron with both hands out in front of you, bend your knees and pull. This will get your lats and front delts stretched out properly.
2. NOT WARMING UP
Everyone walks into the gym with good intentions and wants to warm up, but only a fraction of you actually take the few minutes to do so. Here’s a tip that you will thank us for some day – do a quick warm-up for your shoulders EVERY day, whether you’re training delts or not.
Even when you’re squatting, your shoulders are involved by holding the bar in an awkward position. Invest a short period of time so that you don’t have to invest a hell of a lot more on the sidelines.
Grab some light weights (five-pound plates are perfect, as they are light and easy to hold with the hole) and perform some wide arm swings with your elbows locked – alternate and simultaneously – and then do 10 reps of side lateral raises. Finish up with those arm circles your grade school gym teacher used to make you do – big and small circles!
3 . STARTING OFF WITH HEAVY PRESSES
Even though you did warm up (we’re watching!), it still makes sense to begin your shoulder routine with an isolation movement such as rear delt raises instead of jumping right into the deep end of the pool with a taxing compound movement like military or behind-the-neck presses.
There’s a second reason why this makes sense besides the warm-up to avoid injury and that is how a rear delt exercise is performed and getting the most out of it. When you do them fresh, your range of motion will be a lot wider than after pre-exhaustion sets in. Rear delt exercises are better served when you can reach all the way behind you instead of doing three-quarter reps because you are tired.