Ok, enough about sports. Let's get back to fitness. I saw an article
on the Huffington Post website last week that caught my attention. It
was titled "7 Exercises Fitness Experts Wish You Would Stop
Doing." I read it to see what the 7 exercises were and to see if
I agreed with the so-called "fitness experts."
The first exercise listed was the abs crunch. Crunches have long been
a basic exercise for the abs, but this particular expert Ben
Greenfield thinks they are too hard on the back, because you bend the
back with each crunch, setting it up for injury. I don't agree with
this one. This has been the default abs exercise for me and my
clients for decades, and I've never experienced a back problem from
doing them and neither have any of my clients. In the first place,
the bending is very slight. All you do with a basic crunch is lift
your shoulders and shoulder blades (scapulae) off the floor. Of
course, this is one of dozens of different exercises you can do for
your abs, so you don't need to do them often, but by all means, keep
them in your repertoire.
The second exercise is the seated hip abductor/adductor machine. This
is one I never do, and I rarely have my clients do it either. It's
kind of a waste of time, so I'm with the expert on this one. You work
the abductors and adductors more effectively by doing squats or
lunges or any of a number of other lower body exercises.
Behind the head lat pulldowns are also contraindicated and I agree
wholeheartedly with this one. Doing behind the head pulldowns is a
good way to injure your shoulders or your neck and they are no more
effective than pulldowns in front. So don't do behind the
neck lat pulldowns ever.
American kettlebell swings are listed fourth on the list. I
personally don't use kettlebells with my clients, because they
involve several movements which can cause injuries if they are not
done with near-perfect form. I don't have anything against them, but
I don't use them personally, so I don't train my clients with them
Pat Davidson, another trainer, lists curls in the squat rack as one
of the 7 exercises not to do. It's not that he thinks curls are bad,
it's just that using a squat rack to perform biceps curls is poor gym
etiquette, because curls can be done anywhere, and the squat rack
should be reserved for people doing squats. I see his point and I
agree, although I believe this should have been addressed in an
article on gym etiquette rather than in this article.
Number 6 on the list is the leg extension machine. Alena Hall, who
chose this one, thinks squats and lunges and other exercises work the
quads better than leg extensions, and she is correct. Still there's
no need to discard this machine completely. Use it for variety, but
use it sparingly.
Finally, the Smith machine is to be avoided. According to Alison
Peters, it restricts free movement and does not employ smaller
stabilizer muscles. I agree, but like the leg extension machine, you
can use the Smith machine on occasion, especially for bench presses
where you need a spotter and don't have one available. Just don't
make a habit of using the Smith machine.
I was on the Medical News Today website a few days ago looking for an
idea for this newsletter when I saw an article with the catchy title,
"What Are the Top 10 Healthy Foods?" One thing's for sure,
I knew the list did not include anything I had for lunch today.
Still, curious to find out what those healthy foods are, I read on.
Here's the list with some of their comments about each one:
Researchers at Florida State University called apples "the
miracle fruit." They are full of antioxidants which is a good
These nuts help reduce cholesterol and they can satisfy hunger
without weight gain.
3. Broccoli. The
article just can't say enough good things about broccoli. I suppose
if all you ate was broccoli, you might live to be 110, unless you
killed yourself first.
Who doesn't love blueberries? They are loaded with antioxidants and
they have been shown to help lower your blood pressure.
5. Oily fish.
These include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, and
anchovies. I love sardines and anchovies, but most people don't like
them, which I just don't understand. What's not to like?
6. Leafy green
vegetables. We're talking spinach here. Seems Popeye was right.
potatoes. They are rich in fiber and many important nutrients.
8. Wheat germ.
This is the embryo of the wheat plant and is usually milled out of
most processed wheat products.
Here's a question for you: Is an avocado a fruit or a vegetable? This
article didn't say, so I looked it up for you. It's a fruit.
It's true that oatmeal really will help lower your cholesterol. It
might be a good idea to start every day with a bowl of oatmeal.
That's the list, and I was right, it does not include anything I had
for lunch today.
are a couple of facts I bet you didn't know:
There are 206 bones in
the human body and a fourth of them are in your feet.
There are 600-plus
muscles in the human body and if they all pulled in the same
direction at the same time, you could lift 50,000 pounds.