I’m so happy to see more people making daily exercise a part of their regular routine. After all, it’s the very best way to get and stay healthy.
Exercise helps ward off some of today’s most common health threats including diabetes, heart disease and joint problems. A regular workout can practically stop aging in its tracks.
Plus it plain just makes you feel good!
The jury is in, exercise isn’t something you should just be fitting in here and there, but a habit you should acquire like brushing your teeth or taking your vitamins.
So seeing so many folks making a move these days has me over the moon.
But something I’m NOT happy about is the incredible staying power of some ineffective… and sometimes risky… exercises and movements that people are still doing in the name of fitness.
So today I bring you the top 5 exercise mistakes you’re likely making and should drop from your exercise routine starting TODAY.
#1 Spine Smashing Side Bends:
Ah, the “good” old side bend. This one has been a favorite of exercisers everywhere for decades. Too bad it’s useless and potentially harmful.
Simply put, bending your spine sideways over and over again is just a bad idea. It’s an unnatural movement and there’s a chance you could cause harm.
Besides side bends don’t do a thing for your fitness, and they certainly don’t help with whittling down your waist, tightening up your tummy or defining your abs.
#2 Back Breaking Rounded Back Moves:
I see this one all the time, a healthy exercise ruined by introducing a rounded back. Everything from simply picking up a dumbbell to doing squats can go terribly wrong if you do it with a rounded back.
It’s putting yourself on the fast track to a herniated disk (OUCH!).
I want you to start thinking about your back position every time you start an exercise until good back habits become an ingrained practice.
- Brace your abdominal muscles before you start
- Keep your back in a neutral position
- When picking up equipment such as a dumbbell bend at the knees and keep the equipment close to your body
#3 Sit Ups and Crunches:
I think I just heard an audible gasp out there. Is Craig REALLY saying we ought to get rid of the old fitness favorite the sit up?!?
Yes, I absolutely am.
Sit ups, and their ugly cousins the crunches, should go the way of the dinosaur.
Any benefits you may get from these exercise are far overshadowed by the potential for injuries. Sit ups and crunches can set you up for a herniated disk and shoulder injuries.
Bottom line? Don’t do them!
Better to focus on safe and effective ab stability exercises like the ones I use in my TT programs.
#4 Terrible Russian Twists:
There’s no denying that the Russians have contributed some terrific things to the Universe such as some of the most beautiful women in the world and the delicious Black Russian.
But one thing I wish they’d pack up and take BACK to Mother Russia is the Russian Twist.
You might not recognize the name of this exercise, but you’ve certainly seen it done before. And you might even be guilty of indulging in it yourself from time to time.
You grab a medicine ball, dumbbell or weight, sit on the floor with your legs bent and, as Men’s Fitness put’s it you, “Explosively twist your torso as far as you can to the left, and then reverse the motion, twisting as far as you can to the right.”
Ouch, even the description sounds like a formula for pain.
It’s typically billed as an ab builder, but this combo of spinal flexion and rotation is bad news for your lower back.
#5 Knee Straining Squats:
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t do squats. I’m just saying don’t do them the wrong way.
A squat should start with the hips, NOT the knees. If you’re starting out your squat with a knee dip you’re doing it wrong and chances are you’re going to end up with a strained knee.
To do a squat push your hips back first, and then allow your knees to bend. This motion shifts your weight back onto your heels where it should be. Starting with a knee dip typically sends you rising up on your toes putting strain on your knee joints.
Bonus… doing your squats properly give your hamstrings and glutes a better workout so you see better results.
Stay safe and KEEP exercising!
Craig’s fat loss, muscle-building website TurbulenceTraining.com features his best-selling Turbulence Training for Fat Loss program and TTmembers.com offers access to all of Craig’s Turbulence Training workouts and video clips (for men, women, mass-building, athletes, and bodyweight-only workouts).
Craig also has an advanced research background, completing a Master’s of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Craig continues to study the latest training, supplementation, and nutrition research that will help improve client’s health and wellness as well as their physical and mental performance.
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