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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 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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