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5 Exercises Computer Guy Should NOT Be Doing

5 Exercises Computer Guy Should NOT Be Doing

    Leg Extensions

    You’ve already spent most of the day in a seated position.  The last thing you need to do is train your legs from that same position.   As someone who spends any amount of time sitting, you have to be sure that your workout routines are well-balanced,  providing exercises that focus more on quality movement patterns and less on specific muscle groups.  Truth is leg extensions may be doing more harm than help.   Passive structures in the knee (ligaments) are stressed more in open chain exercises like the leg extension which can lead to future knee pain and range of motion problems.  During the knee extension, several stabilizing muscles are taken out of the movement creating an imbalance of work done by primary movers and synergistic stabilizers.   In other words, this is an injury waiting to happen.

    Alternatives

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    • Dynamic Lunges
    • Step-Ups
    • Front Squats

    Military Pressing

    Few people, not excluding high level athletes, possess optimal shoulder build to be able to do this exercise “safely”.  I put safely in quotes because you may not suffer an acute injury from shoulder presses, but chances are that down the road you may develop some sort of impingement.  Understand this is not a matter of poor training or weak musculature.  It is simply a matter of how you are built.  This is not to say that Military Presses can’t have their place in a well-planned out exercise program.  Let’s face it; the average computer guy geek has sub-optimal posture in the first place.  The last thing you want to try and do is to press heavy weights over your head.  The outcome could be very dangerous.  For our purposes in the gym, I believe much safer exercises can be used to create even better results without this risk.

    Alternatives

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    • Push-Ups (there are a large variety)

    Sit-Ups

    Everybody’s favorite exercise.  If not for great looking abs then surely they are good for “core” strength and your lower back, right?  The truth is, when you perform a Sit-Up you are using very little abdominal strength and a whole lot of hip flexor strength.  Contracting these hip flexors and flexing forward can create excessive amounts of compression on your lower spine.  For anyone who sits for any length of time during the day this is not an ideal situation.  Most computer jockeys need more abdominal strength, but there are much safer and more effective ways to go about getting it.

    Alternatives

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    • Planks and Side Planks
    • Wood Chops

    Bench Press

    Another favorite exercise to most average gym goers.  But you are a trapped-at-your-desk geek, not the “average” person.  One of the last things we as geeks want to do is reinforce our tendency to be slumped with our shoulders rolled forward.  After all this is the position most of us are in the majority of the day if we spend any time at a computer.  Unfortunately, our friend the bench press is only going to do more hurt than help when it comes to this negative posture.  Don’t worry though, like the others there are plenty of alternate exercises that can be used to get the same and most likely better results.  Most of these alternates allow our shoulder blades to move freely throughout the exercise, which actually reinforces a more desired posture.

    Alternatives

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    • Push-Ups
    • Cable presses (unilateral or bilateral)

    Upright Rows

    When it comes to the upright row I struggle to find a reason why anyone would need this movement.  If this is in your routine, I suggest you take a moment to re-evaluate what your goals are in the gym.  Keeping your forearms internally rotated while you abduct your upper arms is a recipe for impingement.

    Alternatives

    • Barbell Rows
    • Dumbbell Rows
    • Face Pulls
    • Cable Row Variations

    Conclusion

    When designing yourself an exercise program, it is important to create goals and choose exercises based on their potential benefits as well as risks.  As geeks we have to be mindful of our posture and the implications it will have on our workouts.  It may not be a glamorous approach but in the long run, it will be the most effective approach regardless of what your goals may be.  Remember, if you get injured working out it won’t matter what those goals are because you won’t be able to work out at all.

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    Last Updated on November 11, 2019

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

    To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

    Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

    1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

    Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

    Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

    To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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    2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

    Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

    If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

    Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

    3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

    Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

    Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

    4. Feed Your Brain

    Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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    This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

    Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

    Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

    5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

    According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

    Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

    Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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    6. Write it Down

    If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

    It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

    You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

    7. Listen to Music

    Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

    8. Visual Concepts

    In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

    Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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    Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

    9. Teach Someone Else

    Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

    Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

    10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

    Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

    So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

    Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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