I’m tired of hearing things like “I don’t squat because it’s bad for my knees” , ” I don’t bench press because it’s bad for my shoulders” or “I don’t do kettlebell swings they are bad for my back” It’s not the exercise its YOU.
Most exercises aren’t inherently bad. What they do is challenge your ability in those movement patterns and if you struggle or feel pain it means that you are not prepared to handle the demands of the movement. This can be for a few reasons. You are not strong enough in the right muscle groups, you don’t have the mobility to execute the movement properly. You don’t have sufficient strength in the stabilizers involved in the movement. If you can’t squat pain free, it is an indicator. It tells me that you have either mobility, stability, structural or technical issues with regard to that exercise. Usually a combination of 2 or more of these factors. The exercise only highlighted the underlying weakness that was there all along. Just because you didn’t have pain when you didn’t squat, it doesn’t mean the weakness wasn’t there. Now that we know that there is an issue when you perform a movement, we can fix it. We can work to improve the weakness. Most people prefer avoidance.
The truth is that most people would rather stick their head in the sand. Avoidance doesn’t make you stronger. It does not get rid of the weakness. It just hides it from sight. All that happens is it comes out in another situation or what is even more likely is you become weaker and injury prone because you don’t want to address your weaknesses. Rehab is pretty boring and unsexy and most people who are not in serious pain or limited in doing something that they deem important will rather not do something than do work to improve. This is bullshit. The aim is to be more capable so that you can get more out of your body and therefore life.
So if you want to be more capable, stop whining about the shit you can’t do and fix it. If you can’t fix it, get a good coach or physio to help you. Being physically weak is not a problem, this can be fixed. Being mentally weak is a huge problem, this too can be fixed, but it is way harder to do and it affects more than just your physical capabilities. Don’t be weak, be capable!
By Llewellyn Morkel