The Exercise Graveyard
This is the most popular leg exercise. The problem we have here is a combination of a functional movement (squatting) combined with a dysfunctional positioning of the load (upper back). In everyday life when would you ever put a heavy load on your back? This also worsens posture by pushing your head and torso forward. And it is putting excessive force directly on your vertebrae. I’m sure your back is going to love that when you get older.
Solution: Start with body weight squats and focus on managing loads in a way that simulate normal movements. This will strengthen your body in a way that transfers to everyday life. And if you want to tone your legs focus on your nutrition. I don’t care what exercise you do; you can’t improve anything without that.
I wonder who was the first person or when did people start jogging and why? Think about it. In the early ages no one would have jogged. You would have been RUNNING to something or away from it. You don’t even see it really in nature, kids don’t jog. Children around the toddler ages are great examples of how we should move. Jogging is unnatural and it’s the most lukewarm “exercise” you can do. It’s not hard, but it’s not easy and anyone can do it. It’s horrible. People look miserable when they do it too (lol). Their heels are crashing on the ground, arms swinging side to side…it’s bad. It’s also a fat storing activity that is doing the opposite for what the average person wants which is to lose weight/fat. Speed/fast walking is just as bad too, it’s an oxymoron. Have you ever seen a lion walk fast or cheetah jog?
Replacement: People have horrible posture and walking mechanics. Start with being better and stronger at walking. Focus on having upright posture, arm leg mechanics and making solid ground contact. Then strengthen your muscles and learn how to run using the same principles as walking. Then work up to where you can sprint. And this will put your body in anaerobic mode which is a fat BURING process.
When a person has “tight muscles” it rarely means they are tight. More often this is an indication that their muscles aren’t warm, or they aren’t conditioned. And just like jogging, I wonder who was the first person to stretch? Lol. And once again look in nature and look at children. They only stretch when they are coming out of a state of rest (waking up). Their muscles are “loose” because they are in better condition. So, after they get moving (hint hint) they’re ready to go. When a person stops to stretch all the systems slow down (heart rate, respiratory, circulatory, body temperature). You’re also teaching the muscle to lengthen while being still rather than to contract while being active.
Solution: Stop stretching! The goal is to increase flexibility and range of MOTION. Do movement oriented active and dynamic stretches. Also, strength training is great for improving a muscles strength and elasticity.
Abs are made in the kitchen! You can’t outsmart your body and science. The way you get a flatter and more toned stomach is to focus on what you’re lifting with the fork not in the gym. And “core” is the most overused and incorrect term in fitness. You don’t strengthen anything with a high number of meaningless reps.
Solution: If your goal is to tone your stomach then you must improve your nutrition by hiring a nutritionist to help you. People don’t know what to do otherwise they wouldn’t get out of shape.
And strengthen your core by working everything not just one thing or area. Do a functional and balanced program that helps you develop a strong mind muscle connection on a neural level and focus on the mechanical part of your fitness not the energetic.