Exercise and Fitness

Being on sabbatical is in some ways a treat. Reading, writing, reflecting on the Word of the Lord. Fielding phone calls, emails, and texts. Saying Masses for the good hermits in the woods of southern Mississippi. Adoring the Lord, praying the Office, reflecting on the life in the Spirit.

And as inevitably is going to happen in any such time of potentially sedentary activity the subjects of strength and fitness come up. One can’t live out in the woods and not have some level of physical activity that requires an alert body, mind, and spirit. Dodging the spiders and snakes alone means one has to be nimble as a deer. And walking the woods, trails, and roads is always a healthy exercise.

So this caught my eye on the Twitter this morning.

Comments attest that many confirm the shoulder solution, if thats the diagnosis.

How does one grow to such wisdom of years without knowing these simple facts of exercise and fitness? When you’re 6’6″ and looking down at a shorter world constantly, sometimes it’s all about the shoulders. And the neck, the back, and the core.

Here’s to staying well, being healthy, and holy. Will be working on some essays, reworking Social Media presence, considering this website, and other intriguing tasks of the day. ‘Til next time.


Exercises to Avoid

…but especially for older lifters. via Brooks Kubic

This is a lot of exercises to avoid. #winning

Anything that makes my life a little simpler, I tell you….

  • Barbell or Dumbbell Pullovers
  • potential should wreckers

  • Behind the Neck Pulldowns
  • Shoulder wreckers, use Pulldowns to the Chest instead, and don’t stretch shoulders at top of the movement.

  • Behind the Neck Pull-Ups
  • Use Pull-Ups to the front instead, don’t fully extend arms, or stretch shoulders at beginning of each rep.

  • Press Behind the Neck
  • Bad idea, and too much stress on the shoulders.

  • The Bradford Exercise
  • The military Press is a much better and much safer option.

  • Dumbbell Flyes
  • Lowering the dumbbells to far to the side stresses the shoulder. OFten enough and heavy enough will guarantee shoulder issues.

  • Parallel Dips
  • A deep stretch at the bottom is far to stressful for the shoulders. Don’t go too low if you choose this one. Smae with rings and V-bars.

  • One-Arm Barbell Presses or Barbell Side Presses
  • D’oh.

  • Bench Presses w/ a McDonald Bar
  • Stick to regular bar for Bench Presses, and don’t go too low.

  • Dumbbell Bench Press w/ too much stretch
  • Use the same range of movement as with Barbell Bench Presses.

  • Preacher Bench Curls
  • Tremendous stress on inner elbow in the extended position.Use regular barbell or dumbbell curls instead.

  • Supine Dumbbell Curls
  • Lots of stress on shoulder and elbows. Use standing barbell curls and dumbbell curls, and 45 degree incline dumbbell curls.

  • Elevated Stiff Legged Dead Lifts
  • Elevated Deadlifts
  • Elevated Rowing
  • Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
  • Not everyone is built for this move: To play it safe, stick to bent-legged deadlifts, Trap Bar deadlifts, power cleans, power snatches, and high pulls.

  • T-Bar Rows
  • Usually done with too much weight and a rounded back.

  • Zercher Lift
  • Good Mornings
  • Always risky, so sticking to the same recommendations for Stiff-Legged Deadlifts is the way to go.

  • Seated Good Mornings
  • Triceps Extensions and French Presses
  • Well deserved reputation as elbow wreckers; stick to close-grip bench presses (w/ hands no more than 6 inches apart.) Can also do close-grip bench presses on an incline bench.

  • Straddle Lift
  • Great way to hurt the lower back. Stick to Squats, Front Squats, deadlifts and Trap Bar deadlifts; much more effective and safe.

  • Jump Squats
  • Just No. Build explosive strength with squats, front squats, power cleans, power snatches and high pulls.

  • Box Squats and Bench Squats
  • Not good for older lifters. Do bottom position squats w/ a power rack if you wish this type of training.

  • Decline Barbell of Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Older lifters have been known to have strokes or heart attacks doing these moves!

  • Sprints and Hill Sprints
  • Great for younger, but not older lifters, due to Achilles heel fragility.

  • Plyometrics and Depth Jumps
  • Not great for older lifters.

  • Yoga
  • For the heavily muscled over forty, this can cause severe strain and injury.

  • Leg Presses on a Vertical Leg Press Machine
  • Going too low stresses the lower back and spine.

  • Any sort of Pullover Machine
  • Pec-Dec
  • Useless and bad for shoulders.

  • Round Back Squats
  • Always squat with a flat back.

  • Sit-Ups w/ Straight Legs
  • Always w/ knees bent.

  • Bench Presses w/ Thumbless Grips
  • D’uh…

  • Bench Pressing w/out Safety Racks or Spotters
  • Hello….

  • Quarter Squats w/out a Power Rack
  • Not a good idea…

  • Jogging
  • Bad on back and knees for lifters, seek other cardio or use lifting as cardio.

  • Power Cleans / Snatches if done Wrong
  • Flexibility and joint mobility is key, or it can lead to disappointment. Squats, front squats, military presses, bench presses/incline presses, and bent legged or trap-bar deadlifts are the way to go.

  • Any Exercise that Hurts!
Fr. Kenneth Allen