The Scottsdale Medical Personal Trainer Perspective On Gym Related Injuries
Scottsdale Personal Trainer / Medical Exercise Specialist Rivak Hoffman says “most of the injuries he sees in his practice in a result of improper exercise mechanics”. January 2019 is upon us and marks another year of weight loss and improved fitness goals as common New Years resolutions. With that being said, the gyms are crowded with new enthusiastic, inexperienced and uneducated members. Scottsdale Medical Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist Rivak Hoffman has an 18-year history of training and rehabbing numerous clients with lower back problems due to common weight training mistakes made at the gym, it’s very difficult for him to watch people inflict problems upon to themselves with hazardous movements to their bodies. He visits the gym daily for his own workouts and finds himself consumed with helping others, and unfortunately neglecting his own workout. Rivak says “I need to invest in a good pair of horse blinders!” It is important to understand that the human body has its limitations in movement and loads and that pain is a red flag that something is failing. Often the inexperienced exerciser will self induce joint injury and continue to work through the pain. The one exercise that causes more injuries than any other is the seated leg press machine. The seated leg press Is a common piece of fitness equipment seen at gyms or athletic clubs. It has some benefits if done correctly, but can be very damaging to the lumbar spine, knees and, hips if done incorrectly. Unfortunately, the laying down position causes amnesia to the stabilizers of the lower back, and therefore pose a high degree of risk for lower back injury.
You Can Potentially Fracture Spinal Rami and Rupture Vertebral Discs If You’re Not Careful With Erratic Leg Movements and Poor Spine Stability.
Damage: By allowing the knees to travel rearward towards the ears in a ballistic manner, you are compromising the stabilization of the lower back muscles and ligaments. Improper movements can result in disk herniation, disk rupture or even a spondylolisthesis. Also, by allowing the knees to a lockout in the extension phase of the movement, there is a risk of overloading of patellar tendons and cruciate ligaments which stabilize the 4 meridians of the upper leg and lower leg. You risk rupture of the ligaments (ACL, PCL or MCL) and/or patellar tendon rupture. As a Scottsdale Medical Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, I have seen more than my share of clients who have sustained these types of injuries. The risk is not worth spending time out of the gym and in surgery. Besides if you have to have surgery on your lower back, the rehabilitation time for these injuries is extensive. It usually takes 8- 12 weeks to return to pre-injury status.
Basic Corrective Modifications To Your Conditioning Program That Go A Long Way.
Correction 1. Per common sense, do not push more weight load than your legs can handle. Start your exercise with no weights on the leg press. If this seems too easy you can incrementally add more weights. As far as strength and endurance program design, I recommend that you consult a qualified Scottsdale Medical Personal Trainer to determine weight loads and set variables. Your leg conditioning program should be designed for you based on your personal biomechanics. If you have arthritic knees, arthritic hips, arthritic ankles or a history of lower back issues you need to consult a Scottsdale Medical Exercise Specialist and obtain an appropriate fitness prescription to work around these impediments. Otherwise, you will exacerbate the dysfunction. If you have had knee, hip, ankle or vertebral disc replacement surgery, get clearance from your surgeon before using any leg machine. Once cleared he will refer you to a qualified Scottsdale Arizona Post Rehab Conditioning Specialist or Scottsdale Medical Exercise Specialist for proper fitness programming. Warning! It’s not unusual to see an extrusion of hip and knee prosthetics as a result of performing leg exercise that conflict with your post-surgical range of motion.
Correction 2. Begin your knee travel backward toward your chest in a slow deliberate manner. Remember it’s about the quality of the movement not how many you can do, so put your ego aside, please. The stopping point of the movement is when your knees are perpendicular to the floor at the 12 o’clock position. If you don’t know where that is, have a friend or family member watch you and tell you when to stop or by placing their hand at the 12 o’clock stopping point. The further back your legs travel, the greater the load on the hamstring, gluteal and quadratus lumborum. This overload on these muscular regions acts as a tight purse string on your lower back resulting in orthopedic spine problems. By limiting how far your legs travel backward, you greatly reduce your risk for lower back rounding and lumbar spine disc problems. It is always better to lighten the load slow your tempo to a 4-0-4.
Correction 3. Never lock your knees out! If you have excess weight on the leg press you can potentially rupture a patellar tendon. ALWAYS stop short of extension and keep the quadriceps in a safe contracted state. Keep your movements at an even tempo. Fast ballistic movements will create a loss of control and a possible hyperextension of the knee joint. If you hyperextend the knee the quadriceps muscles will get flaccid and fail to support the delicate knee joint. A blow out will occur. Again perform your repetitions in a controlled manner and you should not have a problem with hyperextension.
Everything in the weight room is designed to condition muscles and joints by the cyclical process of muscular break down (catabolism) and regeneration (anabolism), coupled with proper nutrition and recovery. If you screw up due to improper form and lack focus you will pay a big price. Potentially kiss your health and fitness goals goodbye. My history as both a Scottsdale Medical Personal Trainer and Scottsdale Corrective Exercise Specialist has presented me with numerous clients who suffered both lower back and knee pain associated with leg machine workouts. I have seen my share of dislocated hips, cracked vertebrae, ruptured disks, blown out knees and drop foot from self-induced weight room trauma. Remember we are all different by design and human bodies respond differently to conditioning programs. One shoe doesn’t fit all. Don’t try to mirror others in the gym. They have their particular agenda which is different than yours. ALWAYS get your own personal assessment and program design before jumping into a workout. Hire a qualified Scottsdale Medical Personal Trainer or Scottsdale Corrective Exercise Specialist if you have special needs such as post-op orthopedic rehab or any neurological issues.
Rivak Hoffman is the President Every Bit Fit AZ LLC. He is known as Scottsdale Arizona’s Best Personal Trainer due to his precise ways of client programming and instruction. His motto is safety first, aesthetics second. To take advantage of our complimentary fitness consultation or health or medical exercise evaluation, visit everybitfitaz.com or Call 480-868-5170
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