Poor Exercise Advice in This Article

12 messages
26/11/2009 at 18:28
Please take this sort of article with a very large dose of salt (or a low sodium alternative!).  Whilst it´s always hard to give good generic advice, it´s difficult to believe that it can get this bad!Very quick comments on each exercise:
  • Press-Ups.  This is not just a “chest exercise” and its effectiveness is very much compromised as soon as you put your knees down.  Better option:  Stay off your knees, but shorten the depth of each repetition.  Start with 5 shallow reps (very shallow if necessary).  You will quickly progress to full reps; then you can build from there.
  • Dips.  Don´t try elevating your feet until you are comfortably doing 20 reps with your feet on the floor.  If you find this exercise too tough, compromise on the depth of each rep.  (As described for the press-ups.)
  • Sit-Ups.  If you have no postural or back issues, enjoy your sit-ups.  Otherwise, stick to the plank.  (Which is often lauded as a great exercise in this very magazine.)   Find the plank boring or easy?  Get a trainer to explain how to construct a fun and challenging circuit of plank exercises.
  • Upright Row.  This is a very controversial exercise that many experienced trainers advise against, due to the (apparent) high incidence of shoulder injuries.  At the very least, do the exercise with a separate object in each hand, so that each shoulder has greater freedom of movement and you are less likely to trap any nerves.
  • Squats.  It´s has been accepted for a long time that you don´t need to stop at 90 degrees of knee flexion.
Nice photos though! 
26/11/2009 at 18:46

Thanks for your curiosity.  Taken from my profile:

Personal Trainer, Sports Therapist, Biking & Hiking Guide.  Run RFH Fitness Holidays in Andalucia, Spain.  (www.rfhfitness.com)  Former subscriber to Runner´s World!

26/11/2009 at 18:55

"Squats.  It´s has been accepted for a long time that you don´t need to stop at 90 degrees of knee flexion."

.... but you may want to consider how many psi(or whatever units) go through your patellofemoral joints if you do get down that far.

26/11/2009 at 18:57

This circuit isn´t great but, especially with the amendments I have mentioned, it would work.  The most important points here (for most people) are: leave out the sit-ups, be careful with the upright row and, unless you are already pretty strong, keep your feet on the floor for the dips.

The Evil Pixie    pirate
26/11/2009 at 19:06

in RW's defence ... this article was written in 2001 so

Please take this sort of article with a very large dose of salt (or a low sodium alternative!).  Whilst it´s always hard to give good generic advice, it´s difficult to believe that it can get this bad!Very quick comments on each exercise:
  • Press-Ups.  This is not just a “chest exercise” and its effectiveness is very much compromised as soon as you put your knees down.  Better option:  Stay off your knees, but shorten the depth of each repetition.  Start with 5 shallow reps (very shallow if necessary).  You will quickly progress to full reps; then you can build from there.
  • Dips.  Don´t try elevating your feet until you are comfortably doing 20 reps with your feet on the floor.  If you find this exercise too tough, compromise on the depth of each rep.  (As described for the press-ups.)
  • Sit-Ups.  If you have no postural or back issues, enjoy your sit-ups.  Otherwise, stick to the plank.  (Which is often lauded as a great exercise in this very magazine.)   Find the plank boring or easy?  Get a trainer to explain how to construct a fun and challenging circuit of plank exercises.
  • Upright Row.  This is a very controversial exercise that many experienced trainers advise against, due to the (apparent) high incidence of shoulder injuries.  At the very least, do the exercise with a separate object in each hand, so that each shoulder has greater freedom of movement and you are less likely to trap any nerves.
  • Squats.  It´s has been accepted for a long time that you don´t need to stop at 90 degrees of knee flexion.
Nice photos though! 

if this was re-writen today the advise may be slightly different.

I may not be a PT but I am a qualified gym instructor and the only one I would have a big issue with is the dips as I would have said work up to what they have described rather than start there.

ALD
26/11/2009 at 19:59

1. No problem with the sit-up, in fact the explanation offered in this article is a crunch not a full sit up which won't place excessive stress on the lumbar spine.

2. Our bodies are build to move, lift, bend and squat. We should be able to squat fully, lift weights to our shoulders (if not too heavy) and press our own body weight up. It's just that 21st century lifestyles prevent the majority from using these capabilites fully, thus we lose the ability to do so. No dangers of injury if done progressively.

3. The knee press up for those with weakness in arms, chest and shoulders is a good alternative. I'd prefer to teach this then move to the partial pressup progression.

26/11/2009 at 20:32

I believe there are good and bad points re. these exercises, it depends on what you are trying to achieve. For every exercise there should be a counter balance e.g situps should be abdomen led not spinal and counter balanced with back extensions, bicep and tricep etc.

27/11/2009 at 10:25

But you didn't actually answer KK's question, Riofrio - what are your qualifications?

Edited: 27/11/2009 at 10:26
27/11/2009 at 10:37
To be fair do we need to have everyone's qualifications on here before they comment - I'd rather people were judged on what they said rather than who they were.    
27/11/2009 at 11:13
Wilkie-I've seen a few Personal Trainers and instructor giving "bad" advice, I'm a fairly keen runner, fairly fit, gym user, 57 year old who trains with some of the top people in the fitness industry and the stories they tell of so called "Qualified" people is quite interesting. So, like all disciplines, whether you have pieces of paper or initials after your name, it doesn't matter,  there are good instructors and bad instructors. 
27/11/2009 at 11:30
Hmm, perhaps popsider, but criticising an exercise article does kind of open you up to that question, and (more to the point as far as I was concerned), the OP had avoided answering the question when KK asked it.
27/11/2009 at 12:01

Well maybe - I suppose it's fair enough to ask if someone does have qualifications - but they are at liberty to ignore it. 

I mean if we are talking politics do we ask if the person has a politics degree - if we are talking about society and culture would we want Corinth shoving his PhD down our throats every discussion ?   I just think as a general principle it's better to leave qualifications out of it.   Like a lot of people I have a first aid qualification through work but if you are relying on me to save your life you are in trouble.


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