I thought we would mix things up a little this week with Monday Rehab. In honor of Mike Boyle’s awesome post last week about Burpees being the dumbest exercise in the world, I bring you my own personal list of the dumbest exercises ever!
For today’s purposes, let’s define “dumb” as an exercise that has a low rate of return for the potential risks it brings to the table! Here we go………
This was the first exercise I posted for Monday Rehab, and with good reason. Similar to burpees, this exercise is almost always performed incorrectly and can lead to a lot of injuries. Between the wrists being stressed, the knees driving too far to the chest causing a break down in lumbar stability, the hip flexors being overused and the impact on the lower back, my neck is already getting tense thinking about it. Climbing an actual mountain is a way better option!!
The I’m going to jump on the highest box possible exercise
I would call these box jumps, but they’re not. All they are is a broken bone or blown knee waiting to happen. Sure it looks cool, but really?? Really??!!!! This happened to be another edition of Monday Rehab where I talked about what the real purpose of a box jump is and how to perform them safely. Bottom line, please please please stop doing these!
Golf Swings with Weight
Sorry to make many of the trainers working with golfers out there mad, but have you ever asked yourself why you are having a client take golf swings with either a weighted club, the cable machine or even a band? What is it really doing to the body? Well, if you are using a weighted club, in order to time the club head correctly, you have to slow the body way down and change your timing. The same thing is true if you are using a cable machine. And if you choose a band, because the resistance increases as tension is applied, it is actually teaching you to slow down. If you want to learn more about this, check out ESPN’s Sports Science show who actually tested this and proved that while swinging something heavy made the golfer feel that they were faster, in reality they lost almost 30 yards of carry distance!!
Another exercise that you all might throw tomatoes at me for saying it’s dumb, but, it is! If you’ve never seen this one before, basically you lay supine with the arms extended out to the side. You then reach your leg over to the opposite side keeping your chest on the ground. Cool right? Where’s my thumbs down emoji when I need it! What is this exercise really doing? You are pinning your thoracic spine and rotating from the lower back, the complete opposite of what your spine is built to do! The thoracic spine is built to rotate, and the lumbar spine is not (well, each one has maybe 1-2 degrees of rotation so at best 10 degrees total). So by doing this ridiculous exercise, you are reinforcing the wrong patterns and putting yourself in a situation that can only lead to lower back pain.
The Sit Up
I’m talking floor sit up here in particular. An exercise that only reinforces bad posture along with placing extreme force into the spine. We sit all day, in the car, at work, eating, watching TV, and even sleep in the fetal position at night. Why do an exercise that promotes the same position. In case you need more convincing though, check out this study done in Canada by a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo. It finds that when doing a sit up, 340 KG of compressive force is placed on the spine. Makes my back hurt just thinking about it.
So there you go, my Top 5 Dumbest Exercises Ever! Not to worry though, tomorrow I will bring you ways to fix all of these as well as what exercises can be used instead to get more out of your workout.