Everyone I know knows basic workout exercises. The phrase, “How much do you bench?” is known universally. People pretend to do bicep curls with beer cans doing their “12 ounce curls”. So most people when they work out, do the stuff they know. Pull ups, push ups, squats, bench press, curls and all that. What if I told you that I thought some of those same exercises are ones that I would suggest to NOT do? Obviously some of these exercises are great strength builders, work and activate the muscles intended, and show visible results. The problem with some, is that you may be looking at this the wrong way. I’m going to give you a list of exercises I would say you should really dissect to see if that should be in your chosen few. 1. Squats Everyone do this one test. Take your shoes off, and stand feet shoulder width apart. Now raise your arms overhead in line with your ears. Now go down into a squat. Take a look at your mechanics. Do your knees cave in as you descend? Do your heels come up off the ground? Do your arms fall forward as you squat? Do your hips shift unevenly? Maybe your feet turn out. If any of these things happen to you, there are some movement compensations taking place. (just so you know, that link is a 20 page chapter, so be ready for some reading.) And if you keep doing the squat, especially with a bar and weights on your back, you basically are telling these faulty movement patterns to keep getting worse. Eventually, you’ll end up with something like knee pain, lower back pain, or maybe a chronic condition. You should look up corrective exercises for each faulty movement pattern, try to fix these, assess your situation, and THEN start moving into that squat, once those patterns have been remedied. 2. Bicep Curls Now, there aren’t really anything wrong with these, except maybe that if you have shoulder pain, they may increase it. My problem with bicep curls, is that they are kind of a waste of time. You could be doing 500 other exercises that are more time efficient, that will also help your biceps look great for the beach. Or maybe try to combine the curl with something more worthwhile. Maybe try a squat, curl, twist and press. (providing you can efficiently and effectively do the squat. If not, change the squat to a step up on a bench.) 3. Crunches Before you say you need them to get a six pack, do this test. Stand up and put your right arm overhead and your left hand on your abs. Now, arch back and feel your abs. You’ll notice that they are tight, and working. But wait! I thought you had to CONTRACT your abs to make them work? Your abs work in both directions, and if you are anything like the general public, you already spend 8 hours a day or more, with your abs crunched, while sitting. Let’s work the opposite way. Do an ab rollout with that old school wheel. Or a plank, with your abs tight and butt flexed. You will get more abdominal activation than those crunches anyway. I’m not saying this is the Golden Rule for exercising, but these are things you should look at when you develop your exercise routine. For more corrective exercises and plans, check out our website, tonycress.com .
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