Have you ever wanted to help someone who was single to find a partner? Or maybe you have tried to help your parents with some new technology that would make their lives easier?
If you have, you most likely did so because you believed in the help you were offering. For your friend you believed pairing up removes the loneliness of being single and makes life more enjoyable. And for your parents you believe in the computer or the smart phone so you can stay in touch easier of have them reach out to you much faster in an emergency.
But what happens when someone believes in something with a genuine concern for you but it is bad for you? They may not be aware of this themselves, as they, just like you with your friends and parents, firmly believe what they are saying is right. In fitness there are so many varied opinions to get you into shape, but rarely is there a “why are we doing this” question asked. The truth is, our bodies are precious to us. Any injury, excess fat build up, cardiac problems or disease cripple us on an emotional level, and sometimes, it is someone else’s suggestion or teachings which casued this harm.
I want you to get a very good head start in your 2016 fitness goals, but more importantly I want you to literally feel yourself not only getting more slender (if that is your goal), but also feeling more limber and younger, stronger and firmer, and most of all injury-free.
Here are the exercises which have invisible harms hidden within them which you need to avoid in 2016.
1) Med-Ball partner twists
In this exercise your hips aren’t really able to rotate very much so all the work is done by twisting your back. Now if you add weight to this, this exercise becomes even more dangerous and the rotational load (you twisting with weight) and the compressive load (you holding the weight up using your back) become so great that with each twist you become one step closer to a back injury. Perhaps a very serious one (disc, end plate or facet joint).
2) Wide Stance Push Up
On many fitness images you find on google, you’ll most likely see a push-up stance where the person’s elbows are out wide. Closer to her head than her core. This exercise puts a large amount of tension on your shoulders. And your shoulders already get used a lot doing other activities. But another reason to avoid this exercise is because it has no reason behind it. A push-up can sculpt your arms, abs and even your bum. A push-up is like a moving plank, and in planks, your elbows are nearer to your abs than your head.
This push-up does nothing for you but put great stress on your shoulders. If you want firm abs, a nicer bum and chiselled arms, throw this one out the window.
3) This particular Squat with your bum way out – Or knees behind toes.
The squat is a brilliant exercise, but there have been variations of it created for those who don’t have the skill or the technique to do it in the way the human body was meant to. It is a very tragic phrase that has echoed the training world for a long time now ” Keep your knees behind your toes”. The irony here is many-fold. Here are a list of things that happen when you keep your knees behind your toes.
- You keep your muscles below the knee shortened, thereby increasing your chances of knee damage and knee pain later on. Achilles tears being the biggest of them.
- You load your back – So instead of loading your knees (which you are keeping closer to the barbell), you adda another kind of load to your back (not a good idea!). The load on your back in a squat should be what’s called compressive. This means the barbell is on your neck and your back is upright. If you add a shear load (your bar moving forward or you leaning forward), especially if you were not taught the bracing techniques performed at the highest level, you will find your back may start to wear on you as time passes.
- You don’t lengthen all your groin (inner thigh) muscles – the result, cellulite and fat build up. And the glutes cannot be used to to their full potential when those muscles are tightly wound.
- You are damaging your knees. Yes they are not taking the brunt of the load, but they are still under pressure with no release point. There are two squats which prevent knee pain and protect your knees. Unfortunately, they are rarely taught in fitness. But you had the skill to do them as a baby. And you can get that skill back, in time.
*Note: Squats are the BEST exercise if done correctly. And also, depending on your height, you can squat properly with your knees behind your toes. Usually this is the case with very short limbs. But for most of us, to keep our back in the right spot, this would not work.
4) Rowing (Using Machines)
Hip flexibility is at an all time low with the advancements in sedentary living. There is too much sitting, too much training (many hours a day 7 days a week), and many muscles not trained in common fitness programs. Many people cannot even sit down with their legs straight in front of them and hold a natural curve in their low back. This is the position the rowing machine will ask you to hold. If you move your back to sit reach and row, you will be using the wrong muscles. A great rower uses the hips and core.
Remember your low back is your foundation. If it goes on you, life will feel as though it has come to a screaming halt. Take good care of it by keeping flexible and strong in your bum, thighs and trunk (torso).
A lot of exercises are good for the body, others are terrible, but the bulk are just plain done so poorly that you:
A) Don’t see the results as the wrong muscles do the work
B) Do major damage over the long term, which will impact your life in a way you wish it hadn’t
So what is the goal of training (fitness)?
Well, I was taught by two very special coaches. Theeit teachings are not the same as the ones at your gym. The goal is to build your body into a finely tuned machine. One that is fit, flexible and fully balanced. This means you restore your muscle, you restore your power, you restore your flexibility, but most importantly – you do all of this without damaging your body. To paraphrase my coach. Learning to exercise properly is like learning a new sport. It takes time to develop these skills, but once you have them, you have them for life!
Are You Still Looking For A Jump Start For Your Body In 2016?
On January 11th we begin our full body overhaul New Year’s Challenge. It’s called Operation Kickstart. If you’re looking to lose weight without dieting, and are serious about your body’s health and appearance in 2016, this will be perfect for you. You can click the image below for more details. And if you have any questions, feel free to email me @ get [email protected]