It is interesting that many orthopedic surgeons denounce certain commonly performed exercises. For example, some physicians condemn squats citing how destructive they are to the knees despite scientific studies and millions of personal experiences to the contrary. It is undeniable that people can hurt themselves on any exercise, more some than others, but the issue is much more complex than the exercise itself.
Poor form, faulty technique (including altered form due to fatigue), bad program design, insufficiant warmup, overtraining, lack of progression (eg: exercise selection, resistance, training volume), and certainly, particular biomechanical deficiencies predisposing individuals to injury are all factors that lead to injury. Also see Causes of Injury
Steven J. Fleck
, PhD and William J. Kraemer
, PhD are probably the most well respected scientists studying resistive training. Fleck and Kreamer have dedicated their careers in investigating researching, and writing both scientific and main stream publications on weight training.
Kreighbaum (1996) states: "The physical condition of the performer dictates how safe and effective these exercises will be in the strengthening the abdominal"
Experts such as Fleck
, as well as the ACSM weight training guidelines
all recommend implimenting full range of motion resistive exercises.
The limitations of an exercise program should be customized for each individual, not the general population as some exercise professionals have proposed. The individual's goals, medical history, orthopedic health, etc. as well as the limitations of the exercise professional's knowledge need to be considered. Obviously, certain exercises may be considered contraindicative for some people, at least until particular injuries and biomechanical deficiencies are corrected and the principles of specific adaptation can be observed.
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