Exercise easy on the body
YOU can assess exercises by looking at the risk to benefit ratio. This will vary person to person. What is safe and effective for one person may not be for another. However, we’d argue that some exercises pose more risk than is acceptable. Here are four exercises that we don’t let our clients do at the Kaizen Centre:
Low back rotation stretches
The lower back (lumbar spine) isn’t designed to rotate. The upper back (thoracic spine) is where most rotation in the spine should occur. This stretch forces rotation through structures that aren’t designed to rotate and can make your lower back more unstable.
A better option is to keep the lower body still and rotate the upper back. Although they may look similar, the version below promotes rotation in the spine where rotation is supposed to happen.
Behind the neck late pull down
Firstly, when would ever need to forcibly pull down something behind your head? This exercise doesn’t make a lot of sense. Add to that the potential damage that this exercise can do to the neck and shoulders and you’ve got another exercise that should be left alone
A better option is to pull the bar down in front of the body. This has better carry over to real world tasks as well as reducing the risk to the neck and shoulders
Stiff legged deadlifts
This exercise is commonly used as a hamstring strengthening exercise. This will strengthen hamstrings, but at the expense of putting your lower back at risk. The most common technique flaw found in lifting injuries is lifting the load with straight legs. This is a dangerous technique to use in the gym or anywhere else.
A better option is a tradition deadlift (shown left) with bent legs. This shares the load between the hamstrings, glutes, quads and the lower back while teaching good lifting technique.
This exercise puts the front of the shoulder at risk. There are safer more effective ways to strengthen your arms.
There are a number of better exercises to train the triceps (the back of your upper arms). The push-up (below) works the triceps as well as the chest and also your abdominal muscles
If you’re looking for a safe effective gym programme please give Hamish a call at the Kaizen Centre on 5479 3411.