by Matt Weik
There are certain exercises and types of workouts that have me shaking my head. Exercises that put the user in a terrible position that could cause serious injury, yet we see people doing them every day in the gym. With some wishful thinking, I’d love nothing more than to see these exercises die and never come back.
1. Behind-the-Head Lat Pull-down
I see it all the time. People loading up the weight on the lat pulldown and taking the path of the bar behind their head. It makes me cringe every time I see it. You are putting your rotator cuff in a very vulnerable position. One where it can cause some serious damage if you aren’t careful. You should always pull the weight in front of you to protect your rotator cuff and keep it healthy. With an injury to your rotator cuff, the quality of life you live today will be nothing like it can be with a rotator cuff injury. Don’t believe me? Ask someone who has a torn rotator cuff how easy it is to complete everyday tasks and I’m willing to bet they will tell you with a banged-up rotator cuff, everything is difficult.
2. Cardio with Weight Vests
Have you ever watched someone train with a weight vest on? Maybe they are running? Doing jumping jacks? Sprints maybe? Tell me, does their movement in any activity look natural or fluid to you? No? Then why would you think it would be a good idea to strap a weight to yourself and try to perform exercises? Weight vests limit your mobility, range of motion, and form. You end up putting excessive stress and unnatural pressure on your joints which long-term can cause you many issues with your hips, knees, and ankles. Save your joints by skipping cardio with a weight vest.
3. Back Hyperextensions
Ok, I honestly just got a chill thinking about this exercise. Coming from someone who has a bad lower back, take it from me that you want nothing to do with the limitations and pain that can come from this condition. Unfortunately, not many people do this exercise correctly on the hyperextension machine and they put a lot of stress on the spine and lower back (especially when they use an added weight). In an instant of doing this exercise incorrectly, you can create a lifetime of nagging, discomfort, and pain. Eliminate this exercise altogether and if you need something to help strengthen your lower back, consider Superman’s on the floor.