When Exercising Right Looks Wrong
For most of us we live in a black and white world. Good vs. evil, right vs. wrong. For a few of us the shade of grey is more appealing. In the world of fitness and exercise most people, novice and advanced exercisers (athletes) there is generally a correct and incorrect way to exercise. Just as in any other specialty or business there is much research that goes into doing the right thing from the wrong thing. There are consequences from doing the wrong thing and rewards from doing the right thing.
In fitness and exercise there are a scant few of us that understand the right way to exercise from the wrong way to exercise. Much research is done and continues to be done and interpreted on the correct way to exercise, the beast way to fire the muscle or the fastest way to burn fat. But there is a very scary reality at play here. There is so much miss-information and so many accepted ways to do things, the wrong way, that when you see people doing the proper exercises it looks wrong to you.
But you are not at fault. Coaches, Trainers and other people that should know better have swayed you to the dark side. A thought process called gym science prevails. Gym science is not science at all, it simply states that if that fit or pretty person over there is doing that exercise it must work, never mind that the exercise they are performing is dangerous and injurious. To further sway your thought process exercise machine manufactures continue to make new and fancy machines to place in the gym or your home. These machines generally force you to move in a specific pattern, this pattern conversely is horribly damaging to your joints and is posturally inefficient. Why do we continue to recommend the same exercises that hurt us.
It shock's me that Personal Trainers continue to recommend dangerous exercises to random people in the gym with absolutely no regard for the consequences of those exercises. There is not a day that goes by that I do not have people in the gym stare at me performing "correct" exercises. I must look like an alien, what strange exercise am I performing on one leg. Why am I not jerking the weight or using momentum, or swinging. Why do I never use the seated machines but I sure hog the cable machines that allow me to stand and do not control my movements, I control my movements. Right exercise is so right it looks wrong.
Yet for some reason trainers do not keep up with science and research. Only a few certifications require any con-ed and much of it is through that certifying company. If you are a trainer reading this, read. Read anything and everything pertaining to fitness, wellness, biomechanics and kinesiology. It must be research based and unbiased studies and articles from experts in their field. Go to seminars often. Muscle and Fitness, Men's health and Self do not count. If you are an exerciser or athlete try to find a trainer with current certifications that require con-ed, preferably a four year degree and when in doubt ask for references or a resume. Go online and research that trainers fitness certification.
I challenge everyone to open up to new exercises, we open ourselves to new technology daily. Technology has allowed us to better understand the body and what exercises are safe and effective vs. what we did in the past with no real reason why, but hey that big guy did it so it must work!
Bryan Fass, BA, ATCL, CSCS, NREMT-P
Bryan Fass holds a bachelors in sports medicine, is a Certified / Licensed Athletic Trainer, Nationally Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Nationally Registered Paramedic. Bryan is also a highly skilled soft tissue and Myofascial Release therapist, And has over 10 years of experience in clinical and fitness settings.