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Fitness & Health

25th Jul 2017

Majority of weightlifters do this one thing to activate their “strong neck muscles”

Some don't even realise they're doing it.


…and it’s excruciatingly painful.

Clenching while lifting is a very common problem in weightlifters. In order to enhance their performance, weightlifters sometimes tense up and recruit more muscles than necessary to lift weights for any given exercise.

According to a survey by Cerezen’s Renew Health, Almost 81% of weightlifters said they clench their jaw when lifting weights.

Almost 70% of those said that they were aware that they were doing it but only 35% actually understood the impact it could have on their teeth.

There were 570 weightlifters surveyed to find out the effects of their training regime and one of the participants explained why this is a habit amongst weightlifters.

Robert Herbst, an 18-time world powerlifting champion said: ‘’ I clench my teeth together very hard when lifting heavy weights. By doing so, it allows me to activate the very strong muscles of my jaw and neck.’’

He recalls a very painful time in his career when the pressure he was applying became too much for his teeth; ‘’my lower right molar exploded under the enormous amount of pressure I was applying to my jaw during a world championship final. The dentist had to pull out the fragments, put a bone graft in my jaw and then, put in an implant.’’

Dentist and regular lifter, Samantha Sacchetti added that ‘’as someone who both lifts weights and sees the teeth of people who lift weights, teeth grinding and jaw clenching (also known as bruxism) during tasks of strength is a real phenomenon.

Her recommendation for combatting this habit is to have a “custom-made mouth guard mouth guard which cushions the impact and prevents the teeth from touching.”

The dentist also said to “lift in front of the mirror and pay attention to the tension in your face” to “relax the facial muscles during sets” and to be aware of “pre-workout supplements as many contain high amounts of caffeine which can lead to even more clenching.”

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