Contraindicated Exercises


There are lots of contraindicated exercises that I have my athletes regularly do. Generally speaking, these exercises have been blackballed due to their increased risk of injury. Some examples of these exercises might be low squat walks (extreme knee flexion under load!), traditional hurdle stretches (external knee rotation!!!), hand stand bridge poses (jamming the lumbar vertebrae!!!!), plough positions (jamming the cervical vertebrae!!!!!!), trunk rotations (rotation with loading in the lumbar spine!!!!!!!),etc. ‘Experts’ might say these and other similar exercises should be avoided because the place the hip, knee, or back in to extreme positions. I would argue that in low-doses they can add something to the training program with no risk of injury. In many cases, these so-called ‘contraindicated exercises’ are absolutely necessary in a training program to attain body positions that might be necessary for an event but are otherwise unnatural. In other cases, they help maintain joint mobility or build strength in extreme ranges of motion…something that I’ve found can be great for REDUCING the likelihood of injury.