7 Muscle Myths

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7 Muscle Myths

The top seven muscle myths according to Men’s Health:

Myth #1: Weight lifting using the super-slow method builds bigger muscles.

In a recent University of Alabama research study, two groups of lifters performed a 29-minute workout, one using the super slow technique. According to the study, the faster group burned 71 percent more calories and lifted 250 percent more weight than the superslow lifters.

Myth #2: Eating more protein builds more muscle.

Protein is necessary for building muscle, but consuming more than 0.9 to 1.25 grams of protein per pound of body weight is a waste, according to John Ivy, Ph.D., coauthor of Nutrient Timing.

Myth #3: Leg extensions are safer for your knees than squats.

It’s all a matter of form. A Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study concluded that "open-chain" exercises--those in which a single joint is activated, such as the leg extension--are potentially more dangerous than closed-chain moves--those that engage multiple joints, such as the squat and the leg press.

Myth #4: Never exercise a sore muscle.

If the soreness limits your range of motion or the muscle is sore to the touch, then go ahead and rest it, says Alan Mikesky, Ph.D., director of the human performance and biomechanics laboratory at Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis. In less severe instances, an "active rest" involving light aerobic activity and stretching, and even light lifting, can help alleviate some of the soreness.

Myth #5: Stretching prevents injuries.

This one will not die. Recent studies have concluded that stretching is virtually worthless. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers reviewed more than 350 studies and articles examining the relationship between stretching and injuries and concluded that stretching during a warmup has little effect on injury prevention.

Myth #6: You need a Swiss ball to build a stronger chest and shoulders.

Craig Ballantyne, C.S.C.S., says that a Swiss ball is great for variety, but you should center your chest and shoulder routines on exercises that are performed on a stable surface, Ballantyne says.

Myth #7: Always work out with free weights.

Sometimes machines can build muscle better--for instance, when you need to isolate specific muscles after an injury, or when you're too inexperienced to perform a free-weight exercise.