Exercise correctly

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Before the clock even struck midnight on Jan. 1, we had our first obligatory fitness resolution-related article (“Fitter Faster,” Dec. 30). While the article made a few great points — namely the importance of intensity, less is more when it comes to time spent, fancy equipment is unnecessary, etc. — the numerous egregious errors present in the program, and form demonstrated in the pictures within, yet again demonstrates the need for qualified fitness professionals.

Many trainees — particularly the unconditioned ones — lack sufficient mobility and/​or stability to properly perform many of the movements listed. With no regressions suggested, this leaves the door wide open for injury.

Speaking of injury, repeated spinal flexion as demonstrated on No. 4 (abdominal crunches) is precisely how world-renowned back specialist Dr. Stuart McGill states most lower back injuries occur. Similarly, No. 7 (triceps dip) is also a known way to irritate the shoulder through impingement resulting from anterior glide of the humerus in the shoulder socket.

Lastly, the elbows-flared/​scarecrow like posture demonstrated on No. 3 (pushups) places undue stress on the shoulder and surrounding rotator cuff. These are just a few of the common errors I see daily in my practice that I correct to prevent unnecessary pain and injury.

The good news is potential trainees will be glad to know that setting up a successful exercise program is even simpler than the article suggests, as a good number of the exercises are redundant. Truthfully, all a successful and sound bodyweight strength program needs is one hip-hinge, squat, upper-body push and upper-body pull movement each. Just remember it’s still worth investing in a lesson or two from a qualified professional on form/​technique to get the most of your time invested as well as to prevent injury.

RUSSELL DEMCZAK
Pittsburgh Kettlebells
Ohio Township
The writer is a personal trainer and a certified strength and conditioning specialist.


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