Avoid common exercise mistakes

February 23, 2012

Exercise

Get expert advice prior to working out. Most gyms have personal trainers who will give you a free consultation and demonstrate the basic machines and correct postures.

by Dr. Nicholas Warner — 

Surprisingly, the most important goal when undertaking any exercise program is not to build muscle, burn fat or increase cardiovascular capacity. These are important, but the number-one priority is to prevent injury. It is the only way you will have a real chance of reaching your fitness goals.

Here are four movements to avoid when exercising, along with several exercises that are often performed incorrectly:

  1. Do not use jerking motions, especially when lifting. Speed is fine when done appropriately, but you should always maintain fluid motion and proper form when performing any and all exercises; otherwise, you could strain or even tear something.
  2. Do not use body parts not required for the exercise. Have you ever seen people doing biceps curls and rounding their shoulders or arching their backs? Those are just two of the big no-no’s that can lead to injury.
  3. Do not lock your knees or elbows. Never lock your joints when working out; keep them slightly bent so the weight will not be transferred to the joints.
  4. Do not arch your back. Picture those people at the barbell bench press, lifting weights too heavy for them. Chances are that they will begin arching their backs, which will eventually give out and prevent them from exercising for days, weeks or even longer.
  5. Push-ups. The wrong way: You should never have a dip or arch in your back or lock your arms. The right way: Arms should be underneath you and not locked, back parallel to the floor. Engage your core the entire time (squeeze your glutes and draw in your belly button).
  6. Walking lunges. The wrong way: When performing a lunge, extending the front knee past the front foot will cause injury at some point. The right way: When you are in a split stance, go straight down and do not let your front knee go past your foot.
  7. Squats. The wrong way: Knees coming forward over your toes. The right way: Perform this exercise as if you were sitting back on a chair and putting 80 percent of your weight on your heels. Then lean slightly forward so you will not fall back.
  8. Chest press. The wrong way: Lifting the weight using your back (high arch). The right way: Keep your back flat and relax your shoulders while lifting the weight.

It is important to remember the right and wrong ways to exercise in general. Get expert advice prior to working out. Most gyms have personal trainers who will give you a free consultation and demonstrate the basic machines and correct postures. Your doctor is also a good source of information, particularly if he specializes in exercise and rehab protocols.

 

Dr. Nicholas Warner is a certified massage therapist and a doctor of chiropractic with Wellness in Motion, Inc., in Phoenix. He is an instructor for The Southern California University of Health Sciences and Utah College of Massage Therapy. 602-863-4252 or www.wellness-in-motion.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 4, Aug/Sept 2011.

, , , , ,
Web Analytics