Thursday, 20 February 2014

Exercise Myths that bother me - debunked!

Hi Folks,

In the running group, we have been discussing some exercise myths which seem to be circulating.  With so many 'fad' exercise items floating around the internet and facebook, I thought it might be more like an 'injury prevention post'.  As you all know, I'm not a medical doctor, and therefore the items listed below are my opinions, along with extensive internet research.

#1 - The longer I hold a plank - the better.  WRONG!!!!

Holding a plank longer than even 30 seconds is like teaching a 5 year old only the letter A of the alphabet.  It doesn't help!  What does help is making your body unstable.  Change the type of plank you are doing if you want to hold it longer than 30 seconds.  For example, switch from your elbows to a straight arm position, or throw in some jack legs.  The key is to build the stability.  I recommend looking at the 7 minute plank app on the iPhone as it has 7 different variations of a plank that you can do.

#2 - Squat Challenges work.  WRONG!!!

There are multiple reasons why these squat challenges do not work.
  1. The expectations are unrealistic.  A new person to exercise can barely do 10 squats (in proper form), let alone the 25 or 50 that are called for on day #1.  If you are new at squats, see the below video for proper form.
  2. Working up to 250 squats will, more than likely, lead to injury.  No one can hold good form for that many repetitions.
  3. Doing a single exercise alone will not give you the body you want.  It is a combination of healthy eating, cardio, and multiple exercises that work to tone and give you the desired outcome.

#3 - Running is bad for the knees.  WRONG AGAIN (but as runners we know that)

Poor knees are actually the result of cartilage being worn away resulting in bone on bone contact.  Running does not give you arthritis, your parents do as it is genetic.  Running, in fact, builds the cartilage up around your knee and strengthens them.  If you do have arthritis in your family, running actually will aid in your later years as it brings more fluid to your knees/cartilage and keeps them moving!


  1. great post! I've actually started doing different plank variations instead of just holding the plank. My favorite is staring on elbows, then "stepping" up to straight arm,one arm at a time, and then back down to elbows one arm at a time. An arm workout, AND plank, all in one.

    i need to start doing squats... I remember doing the Big Ex parade one year... I kept doing lifts with the little kids, squatting down so they could climb up only my shoulders. My butt and thighs were So sore the next day!

    1. It's funny you mention that plank variation because that is the one that I'm doing now as it! It certainly pushes my core!

  2. I try to vary my planks too. They are killer!

  3. These are great!! I love holding planks a long time, but it's good to know that after a certain time they're not useful. I love the variation idea!