I stumbled across this article form TODAY Health, entitled “Workouts You Need To Stop Doing In 2014.”
On the list of “fitness fads” are these exercises:
- Pole dancing
- Yoga mash-ups (such as hot yoga, stand up paddleboard yoga, and aerial yoga)
- Gas mask training (gas masks in order to train for high altitude runs/climbs or restrict their oxygen intake for a much tougher workout. While proponents rave about the results, they also readily admit to “seeing stars”)
- Backwards running
- Stiletto workouts (Fans of this “fitness” fad say working out in sky-high heels can strengthen your core, improve your balance and give you toned, taut legs.)
- Mud, obstacle and beer races
- Stability ball stands
Let’s talk about both sides of this story.
Don’t Discourage Others
On the one hand, should we really be discouraging people from doing a workout they love? When I worked at a personal training studio, my boss hated running. He would always lecture clients (and me) about how bad long distance running is, how it increases your cortisol and makes you fatter, etc. It would annoy me so much because at the time I was training for the New York City Marathon! We know running has its benefits, who is he to say that ONLY lifting is the way to go?
He had the same view about yoga, Zumba, spinning, and more. He thought they were pointless and you would only see real results from training with him (and only his way).
As a personal trainer, I want to encourage everyone to do what they feel comfortable doing and love. If lifting with a trainer isn’t your thing, then find something else. While I agree with my old boss that perhaps Zumba won’t lead to a toned physique, that’s not the goal for many people. It is still exercise, still getting your heart rate up, and that’s what matters.
Is That Safe?
Now, on the other hand, some of the above mentioned workouts sound straight up dangerous. Workout out in high heels? Wearing gas masks? The doctor quoted in the article states,
“When you wear high heels, you’re shortening your Achilles tendon, throwing off your center of gravity and putting stress on your lower back. And then there’s what happens in your feet.” ER doc Stanton is more blunt: “Anything in stilettos is an ankle injury waiting to happen,” he says.
Throwing off your center of gravity is a big reason why many trainers do not advise lifting while on BOSU balls or an unstable surface as well. But I’ll discuss that in another post
The gas mask thing I just do not understand. It can not be good to be struggling for air while working out…while your heart is pumping and asking for air.
BUT, some things on this list surprised me. Yoga? Obstacle races?
I actually did a 5K mud run in 2012, and it was awesome. I have read about many injuries, and sadly, deaths, due to these races. They are dangerous, which is why you need to train for them. It’s not just a fun little race where you jump over things.
If obstacle runs are what gets you out there, then go for it! Make sure you do the right training, and include cardio and strength workouts. I think mud runs are a fun way to encourage people to be active, especially those who aren’t that into running.
I’m all about people getting out there and being active, especially when we are supposed to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
But use caution when trying something new, such as some of the workouts listed above, and do research as well. Will the exercise of your choice help you in reaching your goals? What are the benefits? Contraindications?
Does advising someone not to do a certain workout make you a fitness snob?
What do you think of these workouts? Which have you done?
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