PERSONAL TRAINER MALPRACTICE
Mal·prac·tice (noun) Improper or negligent professional activity or treatment.
If you personally follow or give any of the following typical gym advice you could be doing more harm to your body, or worse yet someone else's, than you think!
STANDING DUMBBELL FLY
This exercise is believed to be a CHEST exercise. With resistance pushing straight down, the only muscles being resisted are the ones holding your arms up...even if you are moving your arms forward and backwards. Muscles need directly opposed force for maximum efficiency.
FULL RANGE OF MOTION
Getting a 'good stretch' puts you at a high risk and should be called the FOOL RANGE OF MOTION. You typically become mechanically weaker at the end of eccentric motion and the force it typically getting heavier. You typically gain mechanical advantage at the end of concentric as the resistance is getting lighter. Many exercise profiles are backwards.
CALVES WITH FEET TURNED IN/OUT
Straight leg calf raises with feet turned in/out does not change the relationship of the gastrocs to the knee. Feet turned out with legs straight happens at the hip. Turned in/out with the knee bent reduces the gastroc activity making it more of a Soleus exercise but still puts the function of the foot out of the plane of resistance and creates excessive ankle stress.
BENT ARM SIDE RAISE
From an elbow flexor challenge to a shoulder external rotation challenge this is not an efficient Middle Delt exercise. The Mid Delt is not working when the elbows are by the side and the Mid Delt are not great at external rotation. Bending the elbow reduces stress at the should that makes it easier but it also puts the force responsibility on a separate muscle group.
STANDING DUMBBELL 'ROTATOR CUFF'
This is an isometric elbow flexor challenge while you choose to move through internal/external rotation. Most people do not understand the impact of inertia, the concept of an anatomical pully, what a closed pack position is, or that the rotator cuff is not a a joint.
Another backward profile exercise where you get weaker as the resistance gets heavier and you get stronger as the resistance gets lighter. This is a high risk shoulder exercise that is NOT a Serratus Anterior exercise and will not make your rib cage wider.
CLOSE/WIDE GRIP CURL OR EXTENSION
Variations are an important part of muscular development but not at the expense of the joints they move. If it looks cool, if someone else is doing it, if it's in a magazine or online, or if the Trainer likes it then it must be good or everyone is the global fitness trainer mentality. Your trainer could be the reason why you hurt when you're not in the gym!
BEHIND THE NECK PULL OR PUSH
Most people cannot pull down or push up behind the head with a straight bar without flexing forward. This forward position places excessive stress inside the shoulder joint and reduces the efficiency o the exercise.
DUMBBELL X2 SIDE BEND
For an exercise to be considered an exercise there needs to be an opposing force. Having a dumbbell in each hand cancels out each other and any motion created is simply by choice rather than by opposed force.
If your momentum is going one way but your knee is going another then you are going to blow out your knee. If you turn your foot out to allow knee tracking then the step to the side is pretty much pointless.
CHEST PRESS GRIP
No matter the exercise, if a resistance is trying to push or pull a joint further into a locked position then excessive stress is being exerted on that joint.
This might as well be called the 'Shoulder Impingement/Wrist Killer' Exercise. This exercise is bad for all joints involved and doesn't even train the traps as much as you like to believe it does.
Another backwards profile exercise. If you do these this way you deserve the low back problems you are going to have. Even if you do them with better "Form" the risk outweighs the benefit....though what is form? I guarantee it's not what you thing!
No 'Abdominal' muscle can flex the hip! Rectus abdominis, Internal/External Obliques, TVA, and Pryamidali are the traditionally labeled AB muscles yet the Psoas Major & Minor, traditionally labeled Hip Flexors are what's at work while the ABS only work to maintain Pelvis position.
Another backward profile exercise...light where you are strong and heavy where you are weak. Most of the full Range of Motion is not even triceps or not resisted since the resistance is primarily moving perpendicular to gravity.
Keep your knee behind the toes, right? Well, what about the back knee and toe?? Stepping forward and pushing back increases the stress on the front knee due to friction between the foot and floor. This hidden force is typically unaccounted for which voids the foot to knee rule.
TOUCH BAR TO CHEST (FULL RANGE OF MOTION)
Pretty much anytime you hear the term "Full Range Of Motion' you should replace it with "FOOL Range Of Motion". Forcing the body to do something it cannot control will only create excessive stress on the involved joints. The muscle should be the focus, not the motion!
Most people turn this into a low back killer rather than the upper/mid back developer by leaning forward/back and using momentum to move the weight. SLOW DOWN!
ANGLED SMITH MACHINES
Every traditional gym has their angled Smith Machine facing the wrong way. Having the resistance moving forward as it goes down will create the excessive stress on the low back, hips, and spine. Placing your feet forward only creates excessive stress on the knees. Hack squat machines are the same way.
CLOSE/WIDE PULL DOWN
Again, using the bar, machine, or any other external device to determine your body position is not only neglectful, it is harmful. Improper placement of hands creates excessive stress on the wrist, elbow, and shoulders...same for pull up or down.
LEG PRESS/SQUAT: HIP/SHOULDER WIDTH STANCE
Following an exercise rule for one part of the body but neglecting the laws of the body for every other part of the body, included directly in the exercise or not, is just a small part of what's wrong with the fitness industry. Exercise should NEVER be administered without knowing the mechanics of the human body and the effects of force!
Not all of the following exercise examples are harmful but they all
show a level of improper body mechanics and neglectful education.
Top 10 Stretching reasons and the issues with them:
and whatever is working at the time. To include all of your predetermined structures, created and/or adaptive limitations/abilities, and your CONTROL of each joint.
and what it is trying to do to you. Regardless if it is by machine, free weight, cables, tubes, kettle bell, water, wind, manual resistance, or body weight...every resistance has the potential to hurt you.
Sit up straight?
Knees behind toes?
Breathe out on exertion?
Touch bar to chest?
Lock out arms/knees?
Full range of motion?
IF you answered YES to any of these you could be hurting yourself or your client!
Some common gym misconceptions vs Physics / Function / Reality
Beginners 'Stress Test'
Assessment first, exercise second
Client fits the exercise
Move weight from A to Z
Focus on weight moving
Rules based on history
Grip width is close, shoulder, or wide
Full range of motion
Breathe out on exertion
Keep knees behind toes
Sports Training via simulation
Core Training/Spot Reduction
Functional Training works everything
Machine exercises are worthless
Needs to work on Balance
Facing mirror on Smith Machine
Watches skin move
Just do it
Everyone should be strategically progressed
Exercise & assessment are concomitant
Exercise should fit the client
Do no harm
Focus on control throughout motion
Principles should be based on science
Grip is determined by Carrying Angle
Client's active controlled range of motion
Breathe according to spinal involvment
Sports specific via specificity + Muscle Specific
Body Fat reduction
Functional Training magnifies imbalances
Machines allow intentional manipulation
Balance means 'no work'
Face according to force profile
Focus on body control
Do it right!
FITNESS MALPRACTICE POINTS TO PONDER
How to do an exercise properly for an individual will not be found in any book, magazine, or online since the author has no way of knowing the individual's health history, current abilities/limitations, and cannot critique your lack of control.
Illustrations typically demonstrate only the beginning and end of motion. Unfortunately, everything that is important about an exercise happens between the snapshots.
Reading a book, magazine, or online article about how to exercise is like reading about how to drive in Japan; even if you think you know what you are doing, if you are on the wrong side of the road (or control) you're going to get hurt.
Combining 'Balance' with exercise decreases efficiency and increases risk.
(ex: standing on a Bosu or sitting on a ball while doing another exercise)
Skilled sports training with weights will only diminish your skill.
(Try using a medicine ball to practice basketball free-throws and then play with a regular basket ball)
A personal trainer does not have the credentials to manipulate/fix you.
(Hands on forcing motion, aka stretching/attempting to change your posture is out of their scope of practice)
A personal trainer should not be sharing 'story time' with you while your body is under a challenge of any resistance. Save it for in-between sets or workouts.
Any kindergartner can count to 10 (reps); any chimp can make a handle move.
(Are you paying for a 'Rent-a Friend' or for someone to ensure your safety?)
ALL exercise will only reinforce what is working while you do it.
(The strong get stronger while the weak stay weak...magnifying imbalances)
Motion is not required to challenge muscle just as having motion does not guarantee your desired muscle is working.
(Chest Press may not be Pecs)
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