Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Seriously, Bob?

It's not the first time I've heard lame advice or misinformation being given on The Biggest Loser but last night it happened again. During one of the "Trainer Tips" segments, Bob Harper suggested that office workers take breaks from the computer and exercise during the day. So far, so good.

So what's my beef? Bob's suggestion that people keep a resistance band at their desk and do Bicep Curls and Tricep Extensions. Really, Bob? Those are your two best exercise suggestions for desk jockeys?

Granted, last night's tip wasn't as ridiculous as Harper telling viewers that crunches will burn off abdominal fat (as he did in a previous season) but there are much better options.

Pair Prisoner Squats with Incline Desk Pushups. No equipment needed and both exercises work multiple muscles, which means they're more functional and will burn more calories than Bicep Curls and Tricep Extensions.

Prisoner Squat - Make sure you keep your weight on your heels and your elbows back.

Incline Pushup - Keep your body straight, your butt down and no head bobbing.

If Incline Pushups are too tough, do Wall Pushups until you get stronger.

As far as exchanging your chair for a stability ball (which was the other part of the tip), there's some disagreement. Some people swear by it; their experience has been positive. On the other hand, Dr. Stuart McGill, a highly respected and leading researcher on spine mechanics, cautions that prolonged ball sitting "places a high compressive force on the discs". So, you may want to consider limiting the amount of time you sit on a stability ball.

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