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5 MORE Exercises Computer Guy Should NOT Be Doing

5 MORE Exercises Computer Guy Should NOT Be Doing

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    Leg Press

    All you have to do is load it up, strap yourself in (not really) and push as hard as you can.  I’ll admit, it can be pretty satisfying to see that much weight move because of your own strength and will.  Unfortunately, the leg press is not without its flaws.

    First of all, it can give you a false sense of real strength.  When you leg press, you’re in a sitting or lying position with little help from your core musculature.  Anytime you train that heavy without the core being involved the strength tends not to translate well to real life situations, and can result in injury.  Don’t plan on helping anyone jump start their car with your newfound strength.  

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    Second, you’ve been sitting down all day with your hips flexed and your pelvis in a posteriorly tilted position.  This has already put enough stress and compression on your lower spine.  When you perform the leg press you’re essentially in this same position, only with hundreds of pounds of pressure forcing you into even more compression.  Not smart.

    Alternatives

    • Lunges
    • Front Squats
    • Split Squats
    • Step Ups

    Shrugs

    Another exercise from the world of body building that doesn’t belong in the routine of the common desk jockey.  Because of your forward dominant work posture and stress, your body will not respond to this exercise the same way an elite athlete would.  It’s not impossible for you to perform the exercise appropriately, but there is such a narrow margin for error and the cost-to-benefit ratio just does not do you any justice.  When consistently done wrong, over time, you can expect to experience some form of neck pain or even headaches. 

    Alternatives

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    • Face Pulls
    • Barbell Rows
    • Cable Row Variations

     

    Loaded Back Extensions

    There is a common misconception that in order to have a healthy low back we need to have a strong low back.  It’s true that we want to have stability around the core as a whole, but when it comes to back health, our ability to move heavy weight through extension may do us more harm than good.  It’s much more important for us to get our moving strength from our glutes and our stabilizing strength from our core.  Try to stay far away from any machine that directly trains your low back extensors.  Any exercise in general that trains you to hyperextend should be avoided.  If low back health is at all a concern of yours, definitely learn and use the alternative exercises I’ve listed here below.

    Alternatives

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    • Planks
    • Side Planks
    • Bird Dogs
    • Glute Bridges
    • Dead Lifts

     

    Loaded AB Machine

    In my previous “things you should NOT do” article, I pulled apart sit-ups.  So it should not be a surprise to you that I would have the same to say about any loaded abdominal device.  It’s essentially the same thing.  Only this time you’ve got weight strapped to your back.  You’re pulling yourself even deeper into that forward dominant posture every time you do it.  Loaded compression of the lumbar spine, yadda yadda…it’s just not good for you.  Don’t do it.

    Alternatives

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    • Planks
    • Side Planks
    • Wood Chops

     

    Recumbent Bike

    It may be useful for someone rehabbing an injury.  But if your purpose in the gym is to get some kind of results, what are you doing on this piece of equipment?  You just spent eight hours of your life sitting at a desk staring at the computer.  Now you’re going to go to the gym to sit down for another thirty minutes to an hour looking at a magazine or the TV?  Your body was built to do its best moving in an upright and erect position.  Don’t insult your potential to be a fully mobile and functional human being by using this machine, please.

    Alternatives

    • Stepmill
    • Versaclimber
    • Upright Bike
    • Cross Trainer
    • Treadmill

     

    I know a lot of people may say it’s bad of me to write articles like this, that I’m only taking options away from people who might otherwise not workout.  This really is not my goal.  What I am trying to convey, is that fitness needs only to be as complicated as your body will allow it.  We don’t need all these fancy exercises and machines to develop our physiques to their full potential.  All that is needed is a few of the basics and some hard work.

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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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