I am sure many health and fitness professionals go through life with blinkers on.
These blinkers effectively blind the professional making them unable to see beyond the scope of their training organisation rules and most recent guru.
A case in point is the subject of dangerous exercises in training programs and exactly what exercises are safe and which are dangerous.
There was a time when I was very black and white in my understanding and teaching of the concept of dangerous and even contra-indicated exercises – sticking rigidly to many common rules and restrictions.
Some of these rules that I rigidly believed include:
– Never squat past 90 degrees at the knee
– Always keep your lumbar lordosis when lifting
– Never do press behind neck
– Never do rear pulldowns
– Don’t let your elbows go past the horizontal when doing exercises like dumbbell bench press and incline press
– Always keep your knees in line with your second toe
I am sure you could add more to this list.
Maybe I am getting older – but I just don’t think it is that black and white these days.
The growth of cross fit, MMA, and boot camp – along with increasing levels of education have made many of these old rules difficult and even counter productive to many health programs.
However – we must draw some lines in the sand – and like to refer to a famous Winston Churchill quote :
“Rules are for the guidance of the wise and for the obedience of fools”
This is basically saying that is you are a rank beginner, have done limited pre exercise screening or you are involved in group exercise setting where individual program design and supervision is difficult – then you need to stick to the rules.
However – the higher the level of education you acquire and the more one on one your programs and assessments are – you are able to relax these rules and prescribe more personalised programs.
I think all health and fitness professionals need to understand the importance of these rules and guidelines but also the context in which they apply.
Be smart and be safe – but also be open to the realities of individual exercise design and prescription – and take off the blinkers.
I welcome your comments on this topic.
P.S. If you are interested in finding out more about my thoughts on dangerous exercises and guidelines then make sure you register for and watch my free webinar:
“The Truth About Dangerous Exercises, Fitness and Personal Training”.
You can register for FREE at :