Archive for March, 2012

Stay Healthy by Avoiding These Exercises! – Part 5 of 5

Exercise #5 NOT to do!

Overhead tricep extension and/or bent-over tricep extension: It was a toss up between these two tricep exercises, so I decided to include them both on my ‘exercises to avoid’ list. The overhead tricep extension puts excess stress on your neck/shoulder for reasons similar to the barbell shoulder press (see previous post).  As for the bent-over tricep extension, it puts stress on your lumbar (low back) discs and overtime can result in a lower back injury. Furthermore, there is minimal benefit to the development of your tricep musculature by doing a tricep extension exercise while bent over.

Don’t do!

Preferred replacement: If you have access to a pulley system at your gym, then the preferrable replacement is a standing tricep pulldowns/extensions; it targets the tricep without putting unnecessary stress on other parts of your body.  If you do not have access to a pully system, then skull crushers are a great substitute (with dumbbells or a barbell…your choice!).


So there you have it, my 5 exercises to avoid in the gym!


Stay Healthy and Keep smiling!! :) :)


Stay Healthy by Avoiding These Exercises! – Part 3 of 5

Exercise #3 NOT to do!

Upright row:

Although you often see people doing this exercise in the gym and it’s commonly found in popular exercise videos, this  exercise makes absolutely no sense! It’s  non-functional (not a motion your body is intended to perform) and it does not even effectively work the muscles it is claimed to work. Furthermore, it significantly increases your risk of getting supraspinatus tendonitis (a shoulder injury that will cause you pain and eventually force you to skip workouts). Bottom line, don’t do it!

    Don’t do!


Preferred replacement: An upright row is intended to work your upper traps, deltoids, and biceps; so I recommend replacing it with more traditional exercises that predominately work the muscles groups individually. These include:  side laterals, bicep curls, and shoulder shrugs.


Stay tuned for Part 4…


And as always, stay healthy and keep smiling!

Stay Healthy by Avoiding These Exercises! – Part 2 of 5

Exercise #2 NOT To Do!

Stiff legged deadlifts:

This exercise is a non-negotiable absolute no-no!! The overwhelming risks to your spine (including discs, muscles and ligaments) could leave you with structural (and functional) impairments that negatively affect you for the REST OF YOUR LIFE!!  In my opinion, anyone who recommends this exercise to you should not be trusted with your health and wellness!

Don’t do!


Preferred replacement: This answer depends on whether or not you’ve had previous/current lower back issues. If you do not have any issues with your back, then you can do Romanian deadlifts (bent legged)…Google it if you need clarification! This exercise primarily targets your glutes, hamstrings, and low back. However, if you want/need to be cautious with your back (especially if you had disc issues) then replace deadlifts with isolated exercises such as: hamstring curls, ball squats, and back extensions (but do not do back extensions if you have a history of recurrent joint-related back problems…and never hyperextend!)


Stay tuned for Part 3…


Stay healthy and keep smiling :)



Stay Healthy by Avoiding These Exercises! – Part 1 of 5

My primary goal in writing this 5 part blog is to help you avoid exercise-induced injuries. More specifically, to stop you from doing some of the most commonly performed exercises that inevitably WILL cause you injury.  These exercises do not support proper body mechanics and function, yet, frustratingly, they are recommended by way too many so called “fitness experts”.


Fact: The majority of injuries I see in my clinic are a result of exercise Inflatable Water Balls

Fact: Many of those injuries are a result of exercises that have inherent flaws which pose a much greater risk to the individual than reward

Fact: Many of those injuries are preventable by simply replacing those exercises with safer ones

Fact: The internet is oversaturated with exercises recommended by “experts”

Fact: There are many great trainers out there, but there are also many poor ones who unintentionally injure their clients by providing them with flawed programs and guidance


In my day-to-day practise I deal predominately with active individuals who care about their health and who rely on exercise to maintain, improve, and maximize their health.  If you exercise, you know how important it is to your lifestyle, and how depressing the thought of being injured is.

I applaud those who make the effort to exercise, but I also cringe at the hundreds of patients’ visits I have each year due to ill-advised exercise.


So I have chosen 5 exercises (with weights) that I have seen pose a high risk of injury. Please note that although you may not feel the problem while doing the exercise, it does NOT make it safe!  Many exercised induced injuries can be classified as repetitive strains injuries, meaning they occur over time from doing the motion over and over again.


One last thing: knowing how focused many people are in achieving exercise results; I am not simply removing the exercise from your routine. I am replacing it with an alternate exercise that is safer and in most cases will yield better results!!

(There is no particular order to the exercise to avoid)


Exercise #1 NOT To Do!

Barbell Bench Press (incline or flat): Using a barbell means that your hands are fixated in one position, which prevents you from bringing your shoulder/arms through its natural range of motion (towards the midline).  When you push the bar up and your hands do not go towards your midline. Excess stress is put on your AC joint and leads to rotator cuff strains (or tears)…In laymen terms, it results in shoulder injuries!! These shoulder injuries make up approximately 35 % of my day-to-day practice…and always result in patients being forced to missed time in the gym!

          Don’t Do!


Preferred replacement:

Dumbbell Bench Press (flat or incline): This is a great substitute that will not only help you avoid injury; it will also yield better symmetry and better results :)



Stay tuned for Part 2…



Stay healthy… Keep Smiling!!!


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