As a professional Certified Personal Trainer and a Fitness Instructor my goal is to help people become their best. I know that people come to my classes or sessions expecting a fun, challenging and safe workout. I don’t get asked “why am I doing this exercise” very often, but when I do, I always have an answer. There is a reason behind all of the exercises that I choose. The problem with the fitness industry is not enough people ask “why am I doing this exercise ”. Many people take what their trainer is telling them to do and do it blindly. Now to be clear, I’m not telling you to question everything your trainer is telling you to do. If they are experienced, educated and passionate 9 times out of 10 you will be fine. But if an exercise makes you stop and think “whoa, this seems unsafe”, ask the question.
This has to be one of my biggest concerns with the fitness industry today. Too many people are more interested in “looking hard as fuck” doing an exercise, than being interested in understanding where in their daily lives this movement will help them. The handstand pushup is a prime example of this. To perform a handstand pushup you get in to the handstand position, most likely against a wall, and then you bend your arms, lowering your head toward the floor and press back up to straight arms. Impressive to watch, yes, but why the hell are people doing high repetition of this ridiculous movement? What happened to the risk/benefits analysis? When you are choosing an exercise you have to ask yourself two questions. 1) Is there a better way to train this movement pattern or muscle group and 2) Is there a safer way to train this movement pattern or muscle group. If you answer yes to either one of those questions, you need to rethink your exercise choice. To the handstand pushup the answer to both of those questions is yes. How about a standing, seated, half kneel or high kneeling shoulder press; don’t have any weights but have a partner? Try a partner shoulder press. I chose to pick on the handstand pushup because I feel that it is a perfect example of the need for the “why am I doing this exercise” question in fitness. The ability to do a handstand is very impressive; I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from practising and becoming proficient at doing a handstand. However, not everyone has the shoulder stability, balance and strength to do a handstand pushup, therefore not everyone should do them, I would argue that there are very few people who should be doing them.
The point of training and exercising is to enhance your quality of life, be more efficient doing your ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) and have a little fun in the process; it is not to look like a “Boss” doing a movement or spend months rehabbing an injury that was totally avoidable by stepping out of the herd of sheep and asking WHY!
King Cobra Fit