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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 July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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