Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shoulder Injuries and Muscle Building

Here's another great article from Jason Ferruggia, creator of muscle gaining secrets.  He discusses shoulder injuries--especially those associated with the bench press.  I've had shoulder surgery myself and I can tell you it isn't fun (I had to have my left ac joint reconstructed).  He gives some good advice here, so pay close attention: 

How to Build Muscle Fast and Avoid Shoulder Injuries
by Jason Ferruggia

Been There, Done That
Many moons ago when people asked me how to build muscle fast I told them that they had to squat, deadlift and bench press. That was before I injured my own shoulder and saw it happen to countless others. It happened again yesterday. My friend and ex training partner called and told me he tore his rotator cuff while benching heavy over the weekend. This did not come as shocking news. This bench press has been injuring shoulders and tearing pecs since the first time it was ever performed.

Back in the golden days of the Iron Game, when the military press was the main upper body exercise of choice, nobody ever heard of rotator cuff injuries or pec tears. It was only after the bench press achieved extreme popularity that shoulders and pecs started getting obliterated at record rates.

The bottom position of a heavy bench press puts your shoulders in a very vulnerable and dangerous position. Some people can tolerate this for decades. For others it will only take a few years. But sooner or later it’s bound to happen. It’s really not a question of if, but when. The flat bench press will eventually lead to some kind of shoulder problems or pec tear in the majority of lifters who do it heavy enough and long enough.

Like a lot of you, I have always been obsessed with learning more about how to build muscle fast, and the bench press has long been a staple in popular mass building programs. For years I proudly proclaimed it to be a great size and strength building lift and measure of upper body power. Nothing made me happier than helping one of my athletes add 50 pounds to his bench in the off season and watching him go to camp and destroy the competition.

But after 20 years in the game, having been witness to far too many injuries resulting from the flat bench press and getting my own shoulder cut open recently, I have finally had to look myself in the mirror and admit the truth that I have been hesitant to come to grips with for far too long…

Bench pressing sucks!

I have discussed this issue with many of the worlds top shoulder specialists in recent months and they are all in full agreement.

That’s not to say that you can never bench again. I know many of you will refuse to stop and I can relate to that mindset. If you get tested on the bench or compete in powerlifting, of course you have to do it. For the rest of you, who still love to press big weights and impress your friends and gym members I recommend you do so with extreme caution.

Make sure your technique is picture perfect and you bring the bar down to the right spot while properly activating your upper back and lat muscles. Secondly, don’t use the flat bench for more than 4-6 weeks without switching to a safer version of a barbell press like an incline or floor press.

The smartest route, however, is to get rid of this destructive exercise forever. There are far more effective movements that will build mind blowing strength and size in your chest, shoulders and triceps while saving you years of frustrating and costly injuries.

While the bench press is probably the most dangerous exercise most of you are doing on a regular basis, it is not the only harmful one. Unfortunately many of you are probably doing damage to other body parts without even realizing it.

To learn how to build muscle fast and to discover the most effective and safest exercises that will replace the bench press and many other useless movements, check out Muscle Gaining Secrets today… before it’s too late.

Train smart,
Jason Ferruggia

Jason Ferruggia is a world famous fitness expert who is renowned for his ability to help people build muscle as fast as humanly possible. He is the head training adviser for Men’s Fitness Magazine where he also has his own monthly column dedicated to muscle building. For more How to Build Muscle Fast tips, check out Muscle Gaining Secrets.


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