Should women do this particular exercise?


First of all, a quick disclaimer:  I am not a woman.  I never have, nor never will be pregnant.  I am NOT any kind of expert in training pregnant people.  So feel free to ignore anything I am about to write.  But I would prefer it if you thought about it critically and let me know how I am right/wrong.

So a question that springs up time and again, in one form or another is:

“Should Sheila be doing this particular exercise…I heard it is dangerous for women.”

Ths is often asked about “Sheila” in various stages of her life.  For example:

  • When she is young.
  • Before she is pregnant.
  • When she is pregnant.
  • After she has been pregnant.
  • When she is old.

Essentially, at any point in her life!  The only other significant population I hear similar things asked of, are children:

“Should little Johnny be doing that yet?  Isn’t he too young?  I heard it can stunt their growth/damage them in some way??”

Maybe I’m reading too much into things here (but I don’t think I am), but there is a very important, subliminal difference in those questions.

First of all, I am a big fan of being active and doing as many different things as possible.  I strongly encourage people to try everything once!  But I also hope I am not a reckless idiot.  I don’t think it is clever to go into potentially dangerous situations with our eyes closed, blind and unready for the dangers.  We should prepare, train and practice, so we can do all these things as safely as possible.

And when asking the Little Johnny question, while there is the justified worry about if they are able to do it now, there is the acknowledgment that they could do it in the future sometime.  Once they have grown/practiced/developed etc.

But for some reason, when asking the Sheila question, there is the implication that they shouldn’t do it at all.  Subconciously, they are being told that they are about as grown up/good/developed as they are ever going to get.  Subconciously, they are being told that they are weak, petit, delicate flowers that can’t do physical things and must be protected from the scary traumers of living an active life!  Physically speaking, the best they can look forward to is stagnation, followed by the steady decline into old age.

What a load of bollox.

A good rule of thumb should be:

“Exercises are not good or bad.  They are executed well or poorly.”

If they are performed well, start thinking about progressing to the next level, regardless of who is doing them.  If they are performed poorly, regress them to an easier level, regardless of who is doing them.  Then see if they can perform this easier version correctly or not.  With practice we will probably find that they can progress back up to the harder version, and so on.  This takes the age, sex, religion, race etc out of the equation.  It brings it back to important thing…

“Is this particular person capable of performing this exercise correctly.”

That should be deciding factor as to whether they can do a particular exercise.  Not if they have a pair of balls or boobs.

People look up to us as coaches to help them improve and develop…not to hold them back and belittle them.

Like I said, this is my opinion.  Feel free to think about it critically and tell me how I am right/wrong.  I like to think I am open minded.