Which Exercises Offer the Safest Way to Build Muscle?

Which Exercises Offer the Safest Way to Build Muscle?

Many beginning body sculptors, when first starting out, look at professional bodybuilders and model their own exercise regimens after theirs. Thinking that no one knows how to build muscle faster and more effectively than the pros, these amateurs will take on as much weight as possible and do all sorts of advanced resistance-training exercises designed for building muscle quickly.

But guess what happens? The beginners, taking on advanced loads, will almost always sustain an injury from their efforts. And after they do, they will often be forced to cease part of their workout regimens in order to heal. This pause in their training, of course, can mean the kiss of death for their fitness careers: many find it difficult or impossible to regain the motivation to seriously strength-train after the first attempt ends in injury.

The primary reason these injuries occur isn’t due to a simple overloading of muscles, though taking on more weight than you can handle is a good way to hurt yourself quickly. The reason beginners are so susceptible to injury is that they believe they can “feel” what is too much weight and what isn’t; but they’re wrong.

In fact, the primary feedback loop your body uses in determining whether the weight is too much is based on the large muscles you’re using for the particular exercises. But these are rarely the muscles that fail when you sustain an injury. The ones you need to build up first are your support muscles, which support and reinforce your joints during times of physical strain. And your joints are the parts of your body most susceptible to injury during strenuous strength training.

The best exercises for working out safely, then, are those that work out muscle groups (including support muscles) instead of isolating specific muscles like professional bodybuilders do. Calisthenics are great for this, and build your musculature in natural ways that look good, are healthy, and also provide useable strength in real life. So take it slow, use your own body weight for exercise at first, and only once you have built up a solid foundation of full muscle groups should you begin fine-tuning with the isolation techniques of the pros.

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