Because many preppers are younger guys big into physical fitness, I thought I’d share my views about some exercises that are best avoided. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should! I want to emphasize I’m not a physical therapist or anything. This is only my personal opinion. Research the pros/cons of each and make your own informed decision.
1) Wrestlers Bridges. These things can really mess up your neck. Ask me how I know. The idea is that the material between your neck vertebrae gets compressed and can’t recover. Neck strengthening is important to wrestlers and other athletes. Finding a safe way to strengthen the neck, not so easy. Some will not be adversely affected by this, but some will. If your neck ever freezes to one side, spinning around like a dog chasing his tail helps alleviate the pain.
2) One armed pull up. OK, few will ever get far enough in their training to attempt it, but even if you do, this is way too much load to put on the connective tissue holding your biceps to bone. If you get this strong, you risk having the connective tissue rip before your muscle fails.
3) The push up equivalent of the one armed pull up is the 90 degree push up. These are extremely impressive. I believe the world record is like 13. Again, way too much physical stress on the body.
4) Upright rowing. This was one of my personal favorite exercises. I miss it. The experts say this has a progressive damaging effect on the shoulders. Imagine wearing away at your nerve tissue with a dull knife. That’s my very simplified understanding of what’s happening. If you must do it, don’t raise the bar too high. Better: Do Shrugs.
5) Behind the back pull ups or military presses. Most physical fitness buffs know you shouldn’t do heavy lifting with your hands behind your back. A shoulder thing.
6) Planches from the ground. These look kinda like a static push up. If you want to do these, make yourself a pair of parallette bars.
The problem with doing them from the ground is that you hyperextend your wrists. You don’t want to hyperextend most of your body parts. Doing so means you’re forcing a connection of your joint to go farther than it’s designed to do.
7) Hyperextension of the knee joint is also bad. Have you ever had the ugly feeling of having your knee joint “buckle” the wrong way? Standing on your feet with your legs locked at bending forward to stretch risks hyperextension. If you want to do this stretch, do it from a sitting position or allow a slight bend in your knees.
8) Everybody knows by now not to do hurdler’s stretches. Twisty knee, no good. Included for completeness.
9) Crossfit anything. Just joking. I don’t want to get beat up by the Crossfit guys. Those guys are scary. Many exercise physiologists don’t like some of their exercises though. Here are a few:
a) Doing powerlifting exercises for reps and time. Nothing better than pushing to exhaustion with 500 pounds above your head!
b) Jumping down from box jumps. Can rupture ankle tendons.
c) Anything that has the word “kipping” in it. Kipping? Isn’t that a fish?
10) Dips with the elbows behind the back. A shoulder thing. Many people do huge numbers of these without any problems, but the experts advise avoidance if you have shoulder issues.
For the health conscious, this is interesting: People with faster reaction times have less chance of premature death. It’s believed fast reaction times are reflective of a well-functioning central nervous system.
Want to test your own reaction time? Try the sheep dash.
I’d feel a lot better about this article if I wasn’t an old and overweight bobcat who needs to drink more coffee. Has anyone ever achieved “Super-charged cheetah”?