With obesity running rampant, regular exercise is an important issue today. The Beverly Hills Posture Team is obviously fans of anything that will help our clients reach their fitness goals.
Deciding to get started on a fitness program is often times the hardest part of the process. Once you have made that critical decision, the next step is a bit of a challenge as well.
As you know by now, before you begin any exercise program, get the advice of a fitness professional. The guidance of the right person is essential to not only getting great results, but doing so in a safe fashion.
Unfortunately, more often than not, people who start an exercise program do so without the best information. Some people simply start doing those exercises that they did in high school. Others just watch what other people are doing at their local gym and do that. Both are bad ideas. So to illustrate that, we have identified five exercises that are done just about every day in every gym across the country. (In fact, two of these exercises are actually promoted by the design of equipment that your gym owner has put on the floor).
The exercises we suggest you do NOT do are:
1. Leg Extensions
This is a very common exercise that just about every gym equipment manufacturer makes a machine for. The problem is that doing a leg extension while in the seated position is a potential disaster for your knees. Your knee is simply not designed to efficiently lift weight concentrated at your ankle. If you have knee problems or use too much weight, you can run into a host of problems.
2. Inner/Outer Thigh
Also a very popular gym equipment exercise. Again, not a great exercise in the seated position. Adduction targets the inner thighs and abduction targets the outer thigh. These relatively small muscles are not designed to lift weight while in the seated position. Doing so runs the risk of straining them as well as aggravating lower back and hip problems. These are support muscles that don’t do well as prime movers.
3. Behind the Head Pull Downs
Another very popular exercise, the “Lat” pull down. Another machine you will find in nearly every gym you walk into. This is not a problem of machine design as noted in the first two examples, but rather one of user error. Instead of (or in addition to) performing this exercise by pulling the bar down in front of your head, many people pull the bar down behind their head. This is a bad idea for everyone who is not super flexible in their shoulder joints. Very few of us have the amount of flexibility we would need to do this exercise safely. Even if we do, we still have to use care not to bang the back of our necks with the bar.
4. Leg Presses/Squats with Deep Knee Bend
One of the all time “bad-form” exercises around, standing squats. Adding to the poor form, most people use a deeper than is safe bend in the knees. This creates a really dangerous exercise. Most leg press machines will help you achieve reasonable form, but they do not prevent you from bending your knees too deeply. The potential damage to your lower back, hips and spinal discs makes proper form and execution a must for a safe workout.
Upright rows are done in a variety of ways. Most involve standing while holding weights with your hands held close together and lifting towards your chin. The problem is the mechanics of the shoulder do not lend themselves to this movement. It has a tendency to compress the nerves in the shoulder causing impingement. Form while doing this exercise is often very poor as well, adding to its potential for shoulder damage and pain.
As we point out, some of these exercises are so popular that equipment manufacturers have designed dozens of versions of machines to assist you in the potential destruction of your body! The scary part is there are plenty of other exercises not listed here that can be just as bad for you. The simple “sit-up” is an exercise we have all done, and we have all probably done wrong. In fact, there are literally hundreds of ways to do sit-ups, all of which are often done poorly.
The good news is there are alternatives to each of these poor exercise choices. This is a great example of why it is so important to get the assistance of a qualified fitness professional when designing your fitness program. As always, we’re happy to assist you with your exercise needs. We can help you achieve your fitness goals in the shortest period of time and with the least chance of injury.
If you have any questions regarding anything we’ve written or would like to book an appointment with us, please click HERE to be directed to our contact page. Beverly Hills Posture is proud to offer Chiropractic Care with an abundance of options including- Yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonic, Acupuncture, Acupressure and Massage Therapy. We dedicate ourselves to creating a healthier you.