When people get into the swing of training, it can ve very easy to move onto demanding compound exercises too early, especially after seeing other people do them. With good reason too, these exercises are excellent for building increased strength, a better body shape, and burning lots of calories.
However, many people end up injuring themselves and not progressing as quickly as they would like from programming these exercises into their training plan when they are not quite ready for them. This is because they are not strong and stable in key muscle groups that work indirectly when performing bigger compound lifts.
So which exercises are these? What are the movements that you must be very careful to not put into your programme too early.
The quat is a fantastic exercise for building your quad muscles. It also works your glutes, hamstrings, and core as they are all engaged when the movement is performed. However, this does not mean that it should immediately go into your programming. If you are not strong in those aforementioned muscle groups, you will struggle to sit into a squat correctly and you will start to arch your spine, which will also over engage your lower back. Your biomechanics will also determine if you are suited to doing this exercise. So, make sure your strength and flexibility allows you to do the squat correctly before performing it and adding more weight.
The deadlift is a hugely popular exercise for people looking to develop overall strength. It works almost every muscle group in your body and burns more calories than most resistance training movements. However, many people put it far too early into their programme and progress the weight they are lifting far too quickly. This results in injuries, particularly in the lower back, which can set back your progress for weeks or even months.
Barbell Romanian Deadlift
It is common knowledge that to grow and strengthen your glutes you must put them under increasing load over time, and the barbell Romanian Deadlift is a fantastic exercise to do so. However, like all of the exercises in this article, it requires strength and stability to be performed correctly first. So, if you are weak in the glutes, hamstrings, and back, it would be much safer to train them in isolation first to build strength before you move onto a Romanian Deadlift, which can then take your glutes to another level. Otherwise, your muscles will not be able to handle the load, there will be too much pressure on the lower back and you will increase your risk of injury.
Barbell Bench Press
Chest training is a very popular topic, particularly among males, but is one of the muscle groups people struggle to feel most. This is because they are unable to keep their shoulders from over-engaging when performing any kind of pressing movement. This issue is caused by lifting too much weight, too early, and a lack of scapular stability from not training the lats (back muscles) or lower traps. So, if you do not have the strength in your back to keep your shoulders pinned into the bench throughout the movement, you should work on improving that before moving on to an advanced movement such as the bench press. The machine/plated chest press is also a good option to practice execution in the meantime.
Bent-Over Barbell Row
Any kind of rowing movement is excellent for building strong lats (back muscles) and developing good posture. The barbell row is no different, but it is one of the more advanced exercises for the lats. This is because it requires a lot of glute and hamstring strength to get into and stay in the bent-over position whilst performing the rowing movement without straining your lower back. So, if you are not yet at this stage, aim to use machines to train your lats in isolation without having to worry about balance or stability. You can then move on to this exercise further down the line when you have built sufficient strength.
So, these five movements are fantastic for developing your body shape, but they all have their place in the programme. If you are not strong, stable or balanced in the muscle groups that are being worked with these movements, the likelihood is that you are not quite ready for them yet. Therefore, you need to train muscles in isolation, either on machines or with light freeweights to build strength and stability. Then, further down the line you will be in a much better and safer position to work with thee movements which will be much more metabolically challenging for your body.
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