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!

Side Plank
You thought a plank was challenging?  Try a side plank as well!  It’s another great “whole body” exercise, but it isolates one side of your body at a time as you improve the endurance of scapular/shoulder stabilizers, obliques, and hip abductors.  Start on elbow and knees (with knees bent).  When you can hold that position perfectly for at least 30 seconds, progress to the straight leg version below.  Be sure to hold equally from side to side to ensure symmetry.
Seated oblique twists against resistance 

Sure, we all want rippling abs, but what are the potential consequences?  Studies have shown that lumbar spine compressive forces double from a position of sidelying to a position of sitting.  This machine also increases harmful spinal compressive loads by locking your hips and pelvis in place!  Without appropriate force dissipation, your spine bears the bulk of this load!

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