by Thomas Kurz
Information on this Web page is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice.
Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before treating yourself or others.
Always consult a physician before beginning or changing any fitness program.
This article is a continuation of Injuries, Sports Training, and Posture, Part I.
Here is the long answer to the question “Why have I singled out the bench press and spinning as examples of stupid exercises?”
To see the main reason the bench press is a stupid exercise, do the following:
1. Test your maximal (1RM) bench press.
2. Test your maximal (1RM) standing overhead press (military press).
3. Work on increasing your maximal standing overhead press only (no bench press during that period), until your max in the overhead press improves.
4. Test your maximal (1RM) bench press again.
When doing the tests, follow the guidelines of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
Results will speak for themselves.
Note: Avid bench pressers should not be surprised if they have trouble doing the overhead press correctly—one more reason the bench press is a stupid exercise. (People who don’t bench press but do overhead presses have no trouble doing a bench press correctly.)
There are more reasons that observant people notice in many gyms, and in one of the forthcoming articles I might spell these out.
To see why spinning is a stupid exercise, observe the spinners and then re-read the first part of this article—especially the part about posture and work.
Sitting for long periods, at work and then during exercise, can cause tightness and hyperactivity in the hip flexors (such as the psoas). This can inhibit the hip extensors (such as the glutei). Inability to produce hip extension with the gluteus maximus shifts the job onto the low back extensors. The low back extensors then become tight and hypertonic and in turn inhibit the abdominal muscles. All this leads to bad posture.
Excessive intensity compounds work stress, soon causing hormonal imbalances, typically high cortisol and low testosterone levels. Results: poor sleep and poor recovery, reduced fat-burning, diminishing muscle strength, and other symptoms of overtraining.
If you want more reasons, study the works of Philip Maffetone that are listed at the The Athlete’s Bookshelf.
Click here to read Injuries, Sports Training, and Posture, Part III.