Do This, Not That!

by Colleen Morgan, PT, MS, OCS, CSCS

Whether you are a weekend warrior or competitive athlete,

a life-long “gym rat” or exercise newbie, it’s important to know which gym exercises are worth your time and energy.  Learn what exercises most physical therapists would categorize as worthless (perhaps even downright dangerous) and explore some healthy alternatives in our recurring blog column “Do This, Not That!”

 

Do This!

Not that!

Squats are functional exercises that combine stability and balance.  Most people complete some form of squat throughout the day including getting into/out of a chair and lifting or picking an object off the floor.When performing squats for exercise, do not allow your knees to move beyond your toes to avoid knee joint compression and improve strength in your buttocks.When performing squats with resistance on your shoulders, remain in a squat rack with assistance by a trainer or spotter(s) for safety! Double leg press.  Imagine laying on your back, stacking 300 lbs on your shoulders and curling into a tight ball.  Now imagine your low back screaming at you for loading so much weight through those once fluffy, smooth lumbar discs.  Putting a loaded spine into flexion (which can be achieved as you progressively bend your knees and hips in a leg press) can lead to or result in injury to the discs.  If you insist on doing a leg press, at least reduce the weight by half and perform one leg at a time to protect your back!
 Standing Squat  Double Leg Press

 

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