10

Lower back soreness can be indicative of bad form or it can be indicative of heavy barbell squats. It's impossible to tell which from just the information that it makes you sore. This is because heavy squats are not a leg exercise: they are a legs, butt, lower back, and upper back exercise. The lower back is generally the point of failure in maximally ...


8

You can buy dumbbell magnets to attach to the head of the dumbbells. I've typically seen 1.25lb magnets, though I suppose you can probably find 2.5 lb magnets as well.


7

Now, some work has actually been done on this where scientists looked at what would happen if you were crushed by 2.5g: There was the hyper-g work done on chickens, for example, by Arthur Hamilton ("Milt") Smith in the 1970s. Milt Smith was a gravity specialist at the University of California at Davis who wanted to find out what would happen to ...


6

As commented by others, without seeing a video of your form or knowing a bit more information it is hard to say if you are doing proper form 100%. Even then, sometimes what one person feels is proper form and causes 0 pain, someone else might have a different reaction. I find this true especially with squats. You might want to pay attention to how straight ...


5

I'll try to stay tight to your "science" and "evidence" clauses, because there's a whole lot of non-science reasons to use free weights. (Just off the top of my head, there's cost, versatility, compactness, and portability.) This roundtable discussion (PDF), with copious references, is one of my favorite sources for the machines/free-weights science. Among ...


5

People get injured lifting with their back because their backs are weak. Not using one's back is one solution. Strengthening one's back is a better solution. The point of stiff-legged deadlifts is to start light and slowly progress to weights that are challenging--that is, heavy for you--but still solidly doable. This is a safe way of loading the back in ...


4

No one directly said this, so I thought I'd contribute (the other posters talked around this): When you do a stiff legged deadlift, you maintain your spine in a fixed curvature, and pivot at the hips. If you curled and uncurled your back, yes, you'd probably injure it. But by holding it in position, you perform a powerful isometric exercise for the lower ...


4

The narrower your center of gravity the harder it is to balance the plate. Think about trying to press a relatively light bar that was 30 feet across. It would be very taxing to balance this bar even if it didn't weigh much. The balancing will happen from the use of your muscles, and the wider the weight distribution makes it seems heavier - due to more ...


4

Something to consider: Machines restrict your range of motion. You are going to have less restriction on range of motion with dumbbells. Generally this means that machines encourage good form. With dumbbells you will have to focus on form because there is no machine to do it for you.


4

We usually refrain from offering diagnoses here, for obvious reasons, but you touch on something important: Bench press prep. So I'll touch on it too. I would caution against doing the exact same prep on incline as you do on flat. On a flat bench, we covet the arched back and pinched shoulderblades, because the weight is loaded on arms that are ...


3

I think the idea of the challenge ruins the idea of the challenge. One of the points we try to hammer home, is that exercise breaks the muscle down, and then you build it back up stronger through eating well and resting well. I think you should be taking every other day off, and see how that goes. That way, you give your chest and triceps some time to ...


3

As somebody mentioned, it is not the exercise that causes the lower back pain; however it can cause more stress on it further especially if you have had a lower back and weak hamstrings to begin with. When the stiff-legged deadlift is used correctly, it can help benefit your lower back and hamstrings by effectively targeting them and growing them stronger in ...


2

In my opinion, this is pretty normal. Barbell, dumbbell, and machine workouts/weights are not all equal. Comparing weight for weight, the easiest level of workout is (1) the machine, (2) the barbell, then (3) the dumbbell. Certain workouts you might swap (2) and (3) but I'm going to focus on the bench press. Here's my reasoning for why: Stabilizer Muscles: ...


2

Instead of doing the same exercises every day, you would benefit more from giving your muscles at least one day of rest before working the same muscles every day. This concept is known as a "split". You work certain muscle groups on certain days and manage your recovery accordingly. Muscles have the chance to improve during rest, exercise is the stimulus and ...


2

As much as I hate it, the unfortunate truth is that the gym can be an intimidating place, especially if you're particularly shy, embarrassed or introverted. My main suggestion would be to either 1, hire a decent personal trainer (judging "decent" can be an issue however), or 2, find someone to train with, preferably someone who knows what they're doing, but ...


2

Dumbells are "heavier" than machines, why ? because dumbells work on the balance and not only the weight like machines.


2

@Andreas tips are great; also, look to the ceiling while doing the exercise. I'm guessing that your lower back is the one that curves. That happens because its weak. You can strengthen it by doing dead lifts and/or lower back raises. If you started to train recently, just do the lower back raises; start with 3 sets of 15 reps twice a week. I would do this ...


2

Well, all I can recommend in your case is to look into Bands. Here is a link to T Nation website. I hope this can help you out. https://www.t-nation.com/training/bands-for-size-and-strength


2

You should also look at doing some mobility work. There's a "Limber 11" video by a guy called Joe DeFranco on youtube. i started doing this a few times a week and my back feels much better on leg days.


2

I did some Google searches, and I thought I might as well post what I found out as an answer. In addition to dumbbell magnets, there are also wrist weights and weighted gloves.


1

In addition to Plate-Mates, a length of heavy metal chain might be a good solution.


1

Machines are useful for bodybuilding, specialized movements, and working around specific injuries. For people not doing those things (which is most people) machines are not necessary and distract from better training tools. Free weights are the simpler tool. They develop body awareness (proprioception) and have better carry-over to athletics and general ...


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