1.) The Adductor (Inner Thigh) Machine
If you sit all day your inner thighs are super tight, and your outer thighs are super weak. This imbalance causes your knees to pull in. Three reasons you don’t want your knees pull inward: 1.) There is nothing sexy about being knock kneed. 2.) If your knees pull in then your legs do a really crappy job of absorbing and redistributing force. That means that you run slower, you bike slower, what ever you do, you suck at it compared to what you could do if your legs were allowed to work properly. Here in Denver, that means that when you snowboard or ski you will get tired twice as fast, because your legs aren’t absorbing and redistributing force correctly. 3.) You are more likely to hurt your knees if they pull inward. Sometimes this can be a pretty major knee injury, somtimes it’s that nagging knee pain after a workout.
What you want to do is stretch your inner thighs. Then do most of your leg work with lunges and squats. Watch you knees in the mirror to make sure that they are tracking straight with your toes. In other words, watch to make sure that your knees aren’t pointing in or out when you squat – your knees should be pointing the exact same direction as your toes.
2.) Any Exercise For Your Calves
Stand up. Take a look at your feet. Do they angle out or do they stay straight?
If you sit all day, you have super tight calves. If you wear high heels a lot, you have really super ultra tight calves. This pulls your toes outward. Check all of the things that are wrong with imbalances from up above on tight inner thighs: Looks weird andmore injuries being the two biggest things.
The time you used to spend working your calves would be better spent stretching them. Or foam rolling them. Or even better – foam roll them and then stretch them.
3.) Way Too Many Pressing Exercises
Ok, so I’m not actually against pressing exercises. I’m against how completely out of balance everyone is with their pushing (pressing) and pulling.
By pushing exercises I mean any barbell bench press, dumbbell bench press, machine chest press, shoulder press, ect. By pulling exercises I mean any pullups, assisted pullups, body rows, bent over rows and seated cable rows.
Most everyone I train is about ten times stronger in their pressing than they are in their pulling. What this does is exaggerate the forward shoulders that everyone gets from working on a computer all day. Couple that with the forward head you get from working on a computer all day, and you end up looking all slumped forward and dumpy. It’s having tight pressing muscles and weak pulling muscles.
Balance it out by spending more time and energy pulling.
The Bottom Line
You’ll look way hotter with good posture. People with good posture look taller, thinner, and more confident.
Make sure your workout program isn’t stocked with exercises that are making your posture worse.
author of How To Lose The Stubborn Seven Pounds: Take Your Body from Good to Rockstar.
National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT) and Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM-PES)
Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certified Instructor (RKC) and Combat Applications Specialist (RKC/CAS)
© Joshua Hillis 2006