The difference between “bad” and “pointless”

We have had a young girl in the gym doing work experience all this week.  And while I hope it has been a good learning experience for her, I know it has been a good one for me.  This is because she has been asking loads of good questions.  Ranging from really simple, to really advanced, but all of them making me re-think and re-remember all the stuff I “know” about exercise.

One question she asked was:

“Why don’t you get people to do pre-steretches before putting them on the machines?  Arn’t they good for you?”

Well no, they are certainly not bad for you, because they probably won’t cause any kind of injury or anything.  But in most cases, they don’t actually do you much/any good either.  As such, they become just another bit of “pointless stuff” that pads out a workout, making it last longer (other examples include admiring yourself in the mirror).  And seeing as many people don’t exercise because

“I just don’t have enough time!”

this is a good example of something pointless that can be gotten rid of.  Your warmups should be based on movement (dynamic stretches), not standing/sitting still (static stretches).

There are loads of things done both in the gym and in life in general that are not really “bad” for you…they just don’t do much/anything for you either.  Take a look at your workouts (and your life) and try to identify as many of these “pointless” things as you can.  I bet you will be surprised how they add up!

For more information about the different kinds of stretches, click here.

For more information about warming up for exercise, click here.