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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 March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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