Seven Bad Exercises You May Be Doing

Seven Bad Exercise Ideas

Boy oh boy, physical therapists are truly an opportunistic bunch because there’s lots of bad form and bad exercises going on out there.  Well-intentioned people unknowingly are using machines and doing exercises that are not good for the body.  The physical therapists at SSOR are very knowledgeable about the exercises that are not only safe, but also ones that are the most beneficial for you.
1.  Seated crunch machine.  This is a terrible idea because of the high disc loading and compressive forces to the disc.  Plus, it does nothing to help your smaller stabilizing muscles of the spine.

2.  Seated back extension machine.  Basically, same answer as #1.  Really tough on your discs.

3.  Behind-the-neck lat pull downs (or pushing anything behind your neck too).  With our slouched posture lifestyles now with our rounded backs and forward heads, this position is not only tough on your neck but your shoulders too.  Pull/push in front instead.

4.  Straight-leg deadlifts.  Much like #1 and #2, this is really tough on the discs in your low back.  Try keeping your knees unlocked instead and keep the weight as close to you as possible.  Bend with the hips and don’t “round” out the back. Keep the back straight.  The picture below shows poor form.

5.  Seated knee extensions (maybe!).  If you’re young and healthy, disregard this.  However, if you’re having knee pain or have knee arthritis, this is not a great exercise for you.  The compressive forces on your patella are through the roof.  There are many alternatives to this exercise, but really, it all depends.  See a physical therapist to get some guidance on which ones are best for you.

6.  Kneeling yoga pose (again, maybe!).  If you have had previous surgery or have knee arthritis, this can be very painful and cause further joint damage.   You can try putting a towel roll behind your knee to support the knee.  We strongly advise against combining this pose with lying on your back too.  Unless you are super flexible, you’re asking for a cartilage tear in your knee and there have been documented case studies from this pose causing cartilage tears.

7.  Letting your knees buckle inward on any exercise.  Lunges, squats, split squats – any of them.  This is a brutal position for your poor knees.  Keep your patella over your 2nd toe.  Think about a train track and a train – buckled knees = bad track for the train (patella).

The physical therapists at SSOR routinely help goal-oriented people get results quickly and back to the activities they love.  We understand biomechanics and know the exercises to prescribe and avoid based on your needs.  Whether you’re in our backyard in Overland Park or in the Kansas City metro, give us a call!  It would be a privilege to serve you.