Three exercises you should never, ever do.

First of all, let me explain how I approach exercise selection. The most important part of an exercise is that it can be done relatively safe. That doesn’t mean there’s no risk involved at all, but the rewards have to exceed the risk by a huge margin.

Even if an exercise was the best thing under the sun, I probably wouldn’t do it if it involved a significant risk. I’m all about longevity and playing it safe.

While I do think you have to practice what you compete in (if you do), this post is aimed at the general trainee, who doesn’t compete. Competing will always include a certain risk – take for example baseball pitchers – their shoulders take a beating from all the hard throws. They still have to practice their sport though, so using physical training to counter the side effects of the throws would probably be a good idea.

Likewise, if you compete at CF, you have to do these exercises. Still, know the risk and program them intelligently.

  1. Box jumps forendless reps. Number one on the list because it does absolutely nothing you can’t get elsewhere yet it involvesFS_STOP_S.T.O.P__23399.1332884842.1000.1000 a significant risk. Bloodied shins and torn achilles tendons are the most common injuries. Cure: don’t do them, or stick to sets of low reps with ample rest.
  2. Kipping pullups: By throwing your hip into the movement, you place your upper back in a position it’s not strong enough to handle. There’s also a tendency for people to poke the head forward like a pigeon. Over time this exercise will wreck your shoulders. Cure: do them strict. Can’t? Get stronger, lose weight.
  3. Kettlebell high swings. As with the kipping pullups, pulling up high instead of stopping at shoulder height will often make people stick their head forward. Bad idea. The swing is a hip-hinge exercise and shouldn’t involve any pulling with the arms/shoulders. Doing a “swingpress” is even worse. Cure: Don’t do high swings.

What you have to ask yourself is “why am I doing this exercise?”, “will it get me closer to my goal?” and “can I get hurt doing this exercise?”. Adjust based on your answers. The three exercises mentioned are just examples.

Remember that “getting an injury” probably isn’t on anybody’s short list of goals, so try to make training as safe as possible for you and your clients.

On that note, have a great weekend. <3

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