what say you



By Ian King

"Training Truth or Meaningless Misconception?

Q: I heard a personal trainer at my gym tell a client that when doing lunges, the knee must be directly over the foot and must never wander past the toes. Any truth to that?

A: I don't know about "truth," but I can say that the blind and dogmatic teaching of this by personal trainers has contributed to some serious misconceptions. Let's examine this hand-me-down "truth" objectively.

Before I even address the specifics of your question, I want to discuss absolutes in relation to exercise. I don't like absolutes and I don't believe they're appropriate. When I hear them, I form the opinion that the provider of the information has a limited ability to process information!

If a coach or fitness instructor is teaching a large group of people, I can see the need to generalize. But when it's a one-on-one situation, there's no reason to blindly pass on generalizations. For example, some will say that deep squats are bad. For whom? A person who's just had bilateral knee replacements? A beginner? A top level athlete? Listen, no exercise is bad! Exercises may be appropriate or inappropriate based on the individual characteristics of the person doing them.

The key here is to know that the exercise may be associated with certain outcomes. Once you're trained in the associations and then learn the individual characteristics of the person to whom the exercise is being applied, you have the information needed to make an informed, individualized decision! There are some well-accepted associations. Here are a few:

thanks for posting that,

the bit on lateral/medial knee movement was quite interesting, may point to problems I've been having.