Weightlifting & Firefighting
Firefighting requires a lot of strength and muscular endurance. So, for good reason, many firefighters lift weights to maintain their physical stamina to perform their jobs.
But doing weightlifting exercises properly takes more knowledge than many people realize. So, unfortunately, there are lots of mistakes people make. These are “mistakes” because they either cause an exercise to be easier or less effective (i.e., “cheating”), or they put your joints in a compromising position, or both.
The Right Form
In this series of articles, I’m going to tell you the top 6 weightlifting mistakes I’ve seen, based on my observations in the gym and my educational background in Exercise Science.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m big on sparing joints during exercise — because you only have one set of joints! Firefighters already have to deal with tons of stresses on their joints, which is reflected by the high rate of injury and chronic pain in the fire service.
These warnings are about form so you can lift as heavy as you want — although many of these mistakes are caused by trying to lift too much weight. My philosophy is to be smart and do exercises in a way that is effective for working the intended muscle group but does not put your joints in a compromised position.
#6 – Behind-The-Neck Lat Pulldown
The sixth worst mistake is a behind-the-neck lat pulldown. A lat pulldown is a great exercise but pulling the bar down behind your head wreaks havoc on your shoulder joint. Trust me, the shoulder is a very complicated joint and it is easily irritated in certain positions (and takes a long time to heal). So always do your lat pulldown in front of your body, as pictured below.
Read the complete series here:
T0p 6 Weightlifting Mistakes