Lebanon Reporter

April 2, 2013

Doing a little heavy lifting

By Dick Wolfsie
Reporter columnist

— When I was a kid, my uncle used to brag about his daily athletic regimen, “I start my exercise routine by lifting a 5-pound potato sack over my head, then I go to a 10-pound potato sack. And finally a 25-pound potato sack. After that, I try putting a few potatoes in each bag.” I thought of that joke the other day when I saw this article on the Internet:

THE FIVE MOST OVERRATED EXERCISES

TIRE FLIP: Yes, this is a real exercise — perfect if you are prepping for this actual athletic competition or are thinking about pilfering a better set of wheels off a luxury car. All you need is a giant tire, like from a John Deere tractor. Then you just keep flipping the tire over and over until you crash through your garage door or the picket fence around your house. Tire pressure should not exceed 30 psi or it also becomes the most overinflated exercise, as well. “Most folks shouldn’t attempt this,” concludes the writer. I have a theory: if you fall into the “folks” category, you probably aren’t doing much heavy lifting, anyway.

THE BENCH PRESS: “How much can you press?” is apparently a common question asked by gym rats, but the author claims this activity does not build chest and arm muscles. Personally, I have never required any brute strength while on my back except when someone is sitting on my stomach and beating me up, which tapered off when I quit doing a political talk show on WIBC.

SQUATS: There is a very complicated analysis about why this type of exercise can be detrimental. The writer explains why the chair squat, the barbell squat and the power squat can ruin your lower back. I was impressed with his exhaustive examination of the issue. In my career, I have read many experts’ opinions on every conceivable topic, but this guy is the first one who knows squat.

THE TRICEP KICKBACK: I forgot where my triceps were, but apparently there are three of them. This confused me because the parts of my body that have any real value to me are either one-of-a-kinds or they come in matching pairs. I like the sound of kickback because I imagine an exercise where a good ole La-Z-Boy recliner plays an essential role.

THE SEATED

ADDUCTION: “Beware,” notes the writer, “it is dangerous to pull your arm into a shoulder extension and then sustain an isometric contraction in your latissimus dorsi and your posterior deltoid.” If this sounds familiar it’s because the federal government is now requiring that this warning be on the box of every Twister game sold in toy stores. But there’s more concern by the author: “Having tight adductors will lead to weak glutes and a feeble butt, which will lead to sprained ankles and result in knee problems.” Republicans also think it will lead to higher taxes and fewer jobs, and Democrats think that with a condition like that, it’s harder to kick the can down the road.

The author does list a sixth exercise — kind of an honorable mention. He says he is concerned when he looks into a weight room where people are working out and sees bicep curls. I agree. If your arms are that hairy, you should be wearing a shirt.