Monday, January 11, 2016

5 Exercises That Are More Harm Than Good

"Any exercise is good exercise, right?"

"Every little bit helps, right?"

Well, not always...

Not all exercises are created equal!

Below is our important list of 5 exercise strategies that are more harm than good!

#5:  Sit-ups:  While an old staple of fitness training, this exercise actually creates tremendous stress (unhealthy stress) on the hips and spine.  While the abdominals can get a decent workout with this exercise, it's just not worth the damaging forces that it also creates.  Crunches are better (though still not quite ideal for most), and there are a slew of other core conditioning strategies that are very safe and very effective when performed for the right duration.

#4: Super-Fast Strength Training:  This is a common trend, but exercising "as fast as you can" is more stressful on the joints and muscles than it is helpful.  Unless your joints are highly-adapted to the stresses working against them, this super-fast training should generally be segmented into only certain parts of each exercise.  For example, pushups can be performed fast on the way up, but not on the way down.

#3:  Running:  Contrary to popular opinion, running creates a lot of stress on the ankles, hips, low back, bones and other areas.  Do we need it for cardiovascular training?  Not at all.  Swimming, the elliptical, and total-body aerobics are just as helpful on the heart and lungs without all the danger.

#2:  Jumping Jacks:  For the same reasons as listed in #3 above, jumping jacks create negative forces for most.  Why risk it?  Move on to "walking jacks" or similar aerobic exercises such as kicks, shadow-boxing or other such movements without jumping, pounding or heavy impact.

#1:  Deep Squatting:  We see this a lot - squatting into a position where the upper leg (femur) is not parallel to the floor, and to where the butt gets close to the floor.  Why is this so dangerous?  While its true that the muscles see a bit more conditioning, the knee joints go through a very unhealthy stress on the way back up from such a low position.  This ages the knee prematurely.  While some bodies can handle it well decade after decade, most do not.  Play it safe and limit your squatting to 90 degrees at the knees.  They'll thank you for it in the long run.

Questions about your PPT program?  Looking to get more involved in stress relief, heart health, core conditioning, or other aspects of health and wellness science?  We are here to help!  Call (877)698-3648 and dial 7018 for our client services director and national health coach.  We look forward to your success!

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