Stretching Prevents Injury, and Other Misconceptions About Exercise

This does need a YMMV disclaimer unfortunately.  Cold static vs warm static pre workout stretch varies in terms of efficacy for many, and the six month rule shoe rule is in play for most marathoners, and may even be less depending on whether you rock a stability type of shoe, etc.

Planks Aren’t All That, So You Might As Well Do Push-Ups

Back in 2008 I was doing research for a story in Men’s Health when I came across a particular journal article that helped influence how many people train now their abs. The study revealed that planks activate significantly more of  your rectus abdominus (the six-pack muscles) than crunches. In fact, this particular study (which was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research) found that planks cause 100 percent activation of your six-pack, whereas crunches only led to 64 percent activation.

Source: Are Planks Overrated?

What? No Variety?

From the contents of the article it almost seems as though people who are fully capable of utilizing their abdominals for a proper plank ought to continue what they are doing…

The entire premise seems hinged on the anecdotal observation that people lack core abdominal strength. What really bothers me though is that rather than address the actual problem this coach is suggesting people just do push-ups instead.  Done correctly a push-up can be an excellent abdominal workout; but only if you’re able to engage your abdominals while you do them. …so essentially this person’s advice to people who lack strong abdominal strength is to do another workout that (to do properly) requires abdominal strength.  All they are going to get out of the push-up are some vanity muscles.

Another aspect that irritates me is the idea of picking specific yoga postures, considering that vinyasa/sun salutations incorporates a tricep pushup.  They could do with a little less cherry picking and ego for those who don’t want to be associated with yoga.

How Getting a Six Pack Changes Your Life (And How It Doesn’t)

Ahhh, the elusive six pack. For many, it’s the holy grail of fitness. But does your life really change after you’ve achieved one? Let’s take a look at the ways that getting a six pack changes your life and when it’s really just fool’s gold.

Source: How Getting a Six Pack Changes Your Life (And How It Doesn’t)

While the focus is on the midsection, and how minimizing body fat is key to making it look better, people (and the article) don’t notice that getting leaner shows up in other areas on the body.  Shoulders, arms, legs, and face.  It’s the face that people will definitely see – things get more pronounced, such as cheek bones or dimples.

But as the article points out – unless you’re constantly shirtless, few will see the finer details.  The public does notice.  Some will comment, lots will gossip.  It’s not likely to win the person you were hoping for.

Also, be careful you don’t take things too far.