dangerous workouts and more effective alternatives

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    Jan 07, 2008 4:54 PM GMT
    I found this article on MSN, and thought i'd share it with you guys. Know of any other popular workouts that don't quite work the way people would like them to?


    http://health.msn.com/fitness/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100184337&GT1=10815
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    Jan 07, 2008 7:42 PM GMT
    Interesting.

    Unfortunately I use all of these machines. I think I would chalk this one up to a clever attempt at some counter intuitive workout advice aimed at getting the attention of readers, without offering real evidence or alternatives that offer an equal workout.

    I don't think doing incline pull ups will give me the same result as pulling 220 on my lat pull downs - Though I never pull behind the back.

    There are some valid points about proper form and monitoring how much you lift. However, I like to excersice outside of my normal range of motion in order to work certain muscles. We may not move in ways that are described in the article, but as a species, we have historically moved in those ways. From eary days of hunting and gathering to a time when there was far more manual labor, humans are designed to moved in a variety of ways. Why should we limit our excercises to adhere to our desk chair range of motion?

    I think this falls into my pass over catergory of fitness advice, aimed at those who want minimal effort and maximum results.

    A machine we should rid? That neck press machine. God that thing is a nasty beast. That will screw your spine before a leg press.
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    Jan 07, 2008 10:05 PM GMT
    Good stuff.

    I always cringe when I see guys doing anterior shoulder presses. Can you say shoulder impingement?
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    Jan 07, 2008 10:10 PM GMT
    Thanks to someone for pointing out this thread. I'll attest to the danger of the seated leg press. It definitely puts unnatural ressure on your lower back and hips. I have been doing squats on a special machine at the gym (I believe it's a "Life Fitness" that has an automatic arch it. I have also been doing them on a smith machine, but I think after reading this, I'll do them with free weights, but in a rack with a safety catch (without a spotter it's hard to safely do them without some sort of rack).
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    Jan 07, 2008 10:48 PM GMT
    A lot of this article is plain stupid. Case in point:
    rather than do the pec-deck do incline push ups? These are different exercises that work slightly different parts of your chest. Why not recommend free wieght flys? Or does the author not like those either?
    I can, however, personally attest to the danger of doing a Seated Military Press machine. If the machine isn't set right, you can injure yourself (I did, when I was starting off on the machine). To avoid that, I just use a bench and free weights which allows me to control my own range of motion.
    Additionally, I thought the body-builder's dogma should be to isolate muscle-groups (with certain exceptions) rather than use your whole body to "help out." But the article says that when doing military press you should use your hips. I dunno, maybe I'm thinking about this wrong.
  • asupas

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    Jan 07, 2008 11:37 PM GMT
    This would probably explain most of my lower back soreness. It sounds like nearly all of these machines (which I use - some more than others) cause stress on that part of the body. Good to know!
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    Jan 07, 2008 11:57 PM GMT
    This is from a previous post on the same topic (disregard if you've already read this):

    I agree with a lot of what is said in the article. The only time I use machines with clients is if they're new to exercise and don't know how to properly stabilize their joints. As soon as I feel they are ready, I transition them to free weights (I do also use the cable crossover). While you may not be able to lift as much with free weights, they will make you stronger in a more real-world setting (rarely does the body work in isolation). You'll also be working harder because a lot more of the body's musculature comes into play. That means greater caloric expenditure and improved stabilization (less injury potential). I like to think of the body as one big muscle as opposed to segments. I am not a body builder--nor are my clients--so this philosophy works out. Body builders have a different take on this.
    Another benefit to integrating more free weights is that there are sometimes long waits for machines which can make the workout last much longer than necessary.
    Finally, I just don't see the point in sitting down when exercising. The vast majority of gym-goers work in offices which means a lot of sitting all day long. Why would you go to the gym to practice more sitting when you're already pretty good at it?

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    Jan 08, 2008 1:04 AM GMT
    hey asupas..there are some really great lower back exercises you can do to alleviate that lower back pain you suffer from...icon_twisted.gif
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    Jan 08, 2008 1:24 AM GMT
    This I posted on the other thread about the same article:

    I read the article a while ago that was more extensive. Most of the issues of damage/danger were supposition and not based on specific testing. The original article was more about the fact that individual machines were too specific on muscles by working only one or one group of muscles that didn't coorelate to the 'real world'. They did qualify that they were fine for bodybuilding when muscle specific training was warranted. The other issue mentioned was the fact of 'misuse' or bad form on these machines.
    Unfortunately, I didn't save the article, because I found the methodology flawed and the information a mix of facts with weak speculation.


    Also, I should mention that I use these machines and follow with proper form. I used to suffer from chronic back pain, and now it's gone, since I started using machines including these, as well as decline crunches.