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home | Free Articles | Danger In The Gym / Burpees

Danger In The Gym / Burpees
Rick Bramos

Every day I watch trainers subject their clients to exercises that leave them susceptible to injury.

This is one of many articles from my compilation of dangerous exercises or exercises performed dangerously in the gym.

Unfortunately I see this on a regular basis, a potential new member going through an assessment with a trainer who is determined to demonstrate to that client that they need  him. The trainer does this consciously or unconsciously by overwhelming the client with exercises that are beyond their fitness level. 

What is really sad is that most of the time it is just lack of experience with the very de conditioned population that leads the trainer to underestimate how challenging the exercise they are asking the client to perform really is.

At the same time they are overestimating the clients ability to perform the movement.

Yesterday I saw an out of shape middle aged man performing a BURPEE while picking up a HALF BOSU BALL.

Let me explain...

A BURPEE is a challenging exercise for anyone and is performed starting from a standing position.

You then drop very fast into a push up position, perform a push up, then quickly pull your legs up underneath you and stand up. As I've stated this is a very challenging exercise as it is a strength movement  (push up) and cardiovascular challenge (jumping up and down from the floor) all in one. This is especially challenging if overweight.

Now add to this movement something to pick up off the floor while performing this exercise. In this case the trainers are asking the client to pick up a HALF BOSU BALL and perform the movement.

A HALF BOSU BALL is one of the large round balls you see in a gym cut in half with a solid flat surface on one side with handles on it so you can pick it up. Because the circumference of the ball is quite large it requires you to lean out away from the body to pick it up.

And herein lies the problem.

We are all taught that proper body mechanics require keeping a weight close to the body when picking it up as the lumbar is susceptible to injury when rounded as it will be when bending over and leaning away from the body to pick an object up. Add to this the quick pace instructors require when performing this movement and you have a potential recipe for disaster.

Again athletes have strong enough backs that they can get away with these kind of movements most of the time.

When dealing with the de conditioned, overweight population it is imperative to be conservative and teach proper body mechanics.

Don't be afraid to question a trainer when common sense tells you not to perform an exercise that does not feel right for your back.

If you've ever had back problems you know that it is not worth taking a chance with.

Save the back!

As always just because you see an exercise being performed in the gym, does not make it right or safe for you. Athletes may have a greater margin for error due to better conditioning. Don' forget that if you have very pressing questions about your exercise program, I am available for Phone Consults. Just go to the Products page.