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Choosing the Right Exercise

Monday, January 10, 2022 Anno Domini - 3 min read.

Let us begin by putting a myth to rest: there is no such thing as a “must-do” exercise. In a world where everyone has their opinion on what exercise is the exercise everyone should do, it can be overwhelming to make sense of all of the advice one receives from the plethora of sources out there— whether it comes from Youtube fitness specialists or a friend, everyone has some sort of an idea of what a “must-do” exercise is.

In order to get more clients, coaches and practitioners tend to overcomplicate movements in order to impress. They put up these over-produced behind-the-scenes videos to show off their skills. Hollywood magic does not make things easy either. The reality is much darker than they would like you to believe.

In fact, actors go through rigorous amounts of training to maintain a certain physique and more often than not undergo extreme changes in a short amount of time. Well-known actor Jake Gyllenhaal gained 15 pounds of muscle to play a middleweight boxer in the movie ‘Southpaw’ by working out six hours a day for six months. In contrast, the Queens rapper 50 Cent shed nearly 60 pounds to play a football player who has been diagnosed with cancer in the Mario Van Peebles film, ‘Things Fall Apart’. Fifty, who normally tips the scales at 214 pounds, released a photo of himself at a frail 160 pounds. The rapper says he lost the weight by going on a liquid diet and spending three hours a day on the treadmill for nine weeks.

The human body is a feat of engineering of itself, but stressing it and pushing it to these extreme limits is not recommended, even if it can be done.

The main difference between celebrities and regular, average people, is that celebrities have the money needed to hire personal trainers, nutritionists, and other specialists to supervise and guide them get through these insane transformations. This is not the case for most people.

That being said, while there is no such thing as an exercise that is necessary to do no matter your routine, it is crucial to take the time to choose the right set of exercises that will prove the most beneficial for your body. This implies that the movement will not cause pain or aggravate any pre-existing conditions you may have. If you experience pain performing a specific movement, it does not mean you cannot achieve your goals. That is the moment we start looking for alternatives.

Let us look at a use case of a client we worked with. This client had full knee surgery which caused them to suffer from low mobility. On their path to rehabilitation, the client presented a hard time performing a squat, as they could not go low nor go deep enough in their movement, causing them pain.

We remedied to this by introducing an alternative to the squat: the leg press. While the squat is superior to the leg press on paper, the leg press exercise would help the client increase strength without causing pain, all while improving their ability to lift more weight. It is a more optimal exercise than the squat as it keeps the client from developing further injury, and it will keep them on the path to recovery.

On your journey towards fitness, protecting your body is very important. Performing the wrong exercise for your body tends to elevate the risk of injury. It is more important for you to know the limits of your body and work with them rather than against them. Performing alternative exercises will allow you to eventually perform the original ones without pain. You simply need to start somewhere and grow from there.

Book an appointment today with RFit to work with our specialists who will work with you and guide you on your journey towards fitness in a safe and healthy manner, every step of the way.

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