Are You Doing These Exercises? STOP!
When it comes to weight loss, any exercise is better than no exercise… We won’t argue that. Movement in general has been shown to significantly improve your health and prevent many chronic diseases (Diabetes,heart disease, etc.). However, we can argue the effectiveness or cost-benefit of some movements vs. others.
What is a cost-benefit for workouts and exercises? Every exercise that you can do in the gym or at home has some risk of injury (strained muscles, tendonitis, or slip and fall) but they all have some benefits. We always want to look at if the RISK is worth the potential benefit, and this article will examine what exercises we just don’t feel are worth the risk.
Whether you’re a seasoned gym goer, or an infrequent exerciser you likely have your own list of tried and true exercises. Left to your own devices you might do the same exact workout every time you hit the gym.
The truth is that’s how most people exercise. They learn a series of movements from a trainer, a blog, a dvd, or their old high school football coach and that’s what they do.
Not taking the time to re-evaluate your routine, learn new techniques, or adapt your training to your ability level can set you up for serious issues. Most notably, not seeing any results or inevitably getting hurt.
If you’re still doing any of the next 3 exercises, it’s time to STOP!
Burpees are the bootcamp trainers biggest crutch. Now before I continue, let me say that I too used to have our members doing burpees. Why? Because they’re not easy and they’re guaranteed to make you sweat. Which in hindsight is pretty dumb logic.
Burpees want to be a Lower Body plyometric exercise, and upper body exercise, and a conditioning exercise at the same time.
People use burpees as a means to burn calories, and lose weight but the truth is that the risk of injury is not worth the potential benefit, and there are other exercises that will produce the SAME benefit without that risk.
Do this instead: Lower Body: Squat Jumps, Upper Body: Push Ups, Conditioning: if you “just want to feel tired”, there are 100’s of movements that can get the job done more efficiently and effectively.
When you think of the best ab exercises, or how to get a flat belly then crunches and setups are usually the first things you think of.
The issue with crunches and sit up lies in the spinal flexion forces placed on the spine. Each rep places 3,300 Newtons (~750 pounds) of compressive force on the spine. This repeated force can ultimately cause your discs to bulge or rupture… If you have back pain, you want to avoid these exercises at ALL cost.
Do this instead: Dead Bugs: An anti-flexion exercise that activates and trains your core while preserving your spinal integrity. Movements like planks and side planks are also great options! If you need help learning these exercises and you are in West Chester, PA then give us a call!
3. Kneeling Push Ups:
Almost every client we meet here at Gage Strength Training in West Chester, PA wants to learn how to do pushups, and pushups are one of the best exercises for developing upper body strength.
When clients come in, they typically have been doing pushups with their knees on the ground, which is how they’ve been taught to simulate a pushups. The problem is that while kneeling push ups can be challenging for your arms, but they lack core and glute engagement which is what helps you to do your first real pushup!
Do this instead: Incline Push up. Using a fixed surface (chair, table, or bench) or a variable height such as a barbell or stack of objects that can be lowered as you get stronger. Performing your “modified” push ups this way… from your toes allows you to engage the core and glutes which is absolutely crucial for improving your push up strength.
Make these changes and your time at the gym will be much more worthwhile.
If you’d like to learn more exercises like this, check out our Small Group Personal Training Program at Gage Strength Training. We create custom training plans to meet you where you’re at, and use cutting edge training techniques to hit all of your goals.