Bodybuilding Safety!

To learn the fundamentals of exercise safety, you first must be familiar to muscle anatomy.
As teen bodybuilders, we are all aspiring, taking advantage of others by starting to build muscle early. For most of us, we are just doing the basics and just beginning to learn how our bodies respond to certain experiments with our overall recovery, nutrition and weight lifting.

These are even vulnerable times, your safety in the gym determines whether you will ultimately succeed, or receive an injury that can last a lifetime. Being educated and careful during your bodybuilding experience, from knowing how to perform a good rep to using your best defense, preparation, is absolutely essential and one of the key fundamentals of gaining muscle mass as well as strength.

Muscle Anatomy:

To learn the fundamentals of exercise safety, you first must be familiar to muscle anatomy. Where the muscles originate, where they insert, have tie-ins, as well as the proper symmetrical size. Refer to this chart for the surface anatomy of the human body:

Kinesiology, The Functions Of Your Muscles:

Kinesiology, as stated above, is the exact functions and purpose of your muscles. Just for a recap, here's the basics:

Abdominal/External Obloquies: To curl the trunk/to bend and rotate the torso to either side
Biceps: To curl the arm and rotate the wrist
Calves: To flex the foot
Deltoids: To lift the arm 360 degrees as well as press over the head
Forearms: To curl as well as extend the wrist
Hamstring: To curl the foot
Pectorals: To draw and press the arms in front of the body
Quadriceps: To extend the leg
Spinal Erectors: To extend the upper body as well as hold it still
Traps: To lift the shoulder girdle
Triceps: To extend the arm

Proper Biomechanics:

In your bodybuilding experience you will perform thousands of reps, but if you can't learn to do one properly, you will get nowhere. Using proper exercise form is the number one fundamental of not only achieving muscularity and strength, but avoiding a serious injury.

Using proper form also makes sure your muscles as well as joints are in the strongest possible position. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen someone in my gym demonstrating horrible form that not only requires virtually no muscular effort, but increases the chance of them injuring themselves, and ending their career instantly.

Ideal form can be defined as moving your limbs in the widest range of motion possible for every rep, using a slow eccentric and making sure the muscle contracts. Other than that, you can find some more information on proper biomechanics in bodybuilding encyclopedias, on the internet and even right here on this site.

Proper Warm Up:

One of the most common causes of training injuries is lack of a proper warm up procedure. Stretching, light aerobics and doing high rep sets with light weight can seriously reduce the chance of injuring yourself.

Try doing a variety of warm up calisthenics: push ups, body squats, maybe some chin ups as well as all kinds of stretches for that particular muscle group. This will warm your muscles and prepare them for the heavy stress to come.

Safety Guidelines:

Here is my official list of principles that will not only help you achieve muscularity easier, but save you from a devastating injury:

    1. ALWAYS properly warm up

    This should is the top guideline for working out safely. Warming up increases flexibility and prepares your body for the intense stress to come. Hell, it even feels good.

    2. Stress good exercise form

    This is a no brainer. Completely essential to going maximum muscle mass and strength, but will more often than not save you from hurting yourself. Always have complete control over the weight.

    3. Use a spotter for intense or dangerous lifts

    You cannot avoid the situation when you will need to perform a potentially harmful exercise such as the bench press. Your partner will save you from injury, which leads me to the next guideline,

    4. Don't workout alone

    Many bodybuilders have died under barbells when they max out, became the victim of momentum when large weight plates come lose and smash bones, as well as tripped over a misplaced dumbbell, fatally wounding themselves. Not to mention having a workout partner creates an atmosphere where incredible intensity is possible.

    5. Utilize a correct breathing pattern

    When performing intense exercise such as weight lifting, holding your breath can slow the rate of blood flow to and from the brain, causing the subject to faint. As a general rule, exhale while performing the positive portion of a rep, and inhale while performing the negative portion of a rep.

    6. Use common sense

    Put your equipment away after use, use collars on your barbells, use a weightlifting belt or wrist straps when necessary, you may save yourself a trip to the hospital.

    7. Eliminate un-natural exercises from your routine

    Behind the neck presses, behind the neck chin ups or pull downs, or anything that puts unnecessary stress on your body should be eliminated.

    8. Attain as much bodybuilding knowledge as possible

    The more you know, the less likely you are to hurt yourself.

    9. Use proper poundage's

    If you are looking to add mass to your frame, the best rep range is generally anywhere from 6-12 reps. If you go below six reps, the weight your using is too heavy.

    10. Use safety racks

    Primarily using a squat rack when performing squats. If you can, for home purposes, purchase a squat rack with safety racks in case you fall. Remember, most squatting injuries occur when backing up.