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Exercise and Muscle Groups

Exercise and Muscle Groups

Contraindicated exercises increase the risk of injury and joint or soft tissue damage. These exercises promote overstretching, hyperextension, locking of joints, rapid, jerky, and uncontrolled movements, among other risks. This essay highlights several contraindicated practices, the harm they cause, and several key muscle groups.

Contraindicated Exercises

Surprisingly, one of the contraindicated exercises is sit-ups. Sit-ups involve lying down and lifting the torso. Sit-ups mainly engage the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and oblique muscles. In addition, hip flexors, the chest, and the neck are also involved. Most people do sit-ups to strengthen their core while strengthening the front of their abdomens. Sit-ups, unfortunately, exert a lot of compression force on the lumbar vertebrae, which can be harmful.

Another contraindicated exercise is the inverted neck stand. In this exercise, one pushes their body up into the air with the feet pointing upwards with only the chest, neck, and head on the floor. Most people do this exercise believing that it eases the pressure on their backs while providing traction to their backs. In reality, this exercise offers nothing and only results in raised intrathoracic and cervical strain, which proves harmful in the long run.

Leg lifts are another form of contraindicated exercise. Leg lifts entail raising both legs straight with the back on the floor simultaneously. People do this exercise believing that it improves hip flexibility and strength. They also think that it strengthens their core. This exercise exerts too much-unwanted pressure on the lumbar vertebrae and proves harmful in the long run.

Types of Muscular Contractions

Muscular contractions are classified as isometric, eccentric, and concentric. An isometric contraction is when no muscle movement occurs despite generating a force (Sweeney & Hammers). In exercise, holding a dumbbell in a constant position instead of actively raising or lowering it, as is in a biceps curl, is a clear demonstration of isometric contraction. Eccentric contraction is produced when there is an increase in the total length of a muscle following tension. Eccentric contraction is demonstrated when an individual lowers a barbell towards their chest while in a bench press (Franchi et al. 447). Concentric contractions are observed when the muscle’s force overcomes the resistance, resulting in the consequent shortening of the power. During exercise, concentric contractions are demonstrated during the upward phase of a push-up, where the triceps and chest muscles contract concentrically (Fountain et al. 1590).

Rotator Cuff Muscles

The rotator cuff muscles include the subscapularis, teres minor, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus (Llopis et al.). These muscles are essential in the stabilization of the shoulder and in performing several arm movements. Exercises targeting this muscle group include the doorway stretch, side-lying external rotation, high to low rows, reverse fly, and the lawnmower pull. All these exercises strengthen this group of muscles.

Quadriceps and Hamstrings

The quadriceps muscle group comprises the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius (Sherman et al. 167). These muscles cover the side of the thigh and play a significant role in stabilizing the knee while keeping it straight. The hamstring muscles comprise the long and short head of the biceps femoris, the semimembranosus, and the semitendinosus. These muscles play a vital role in knee flexion, rotation, and hip joint extension.

References

Fountain, W. A., Valenti, Z. J., Lynch, C. E., Guarnera, S. R., Meister, B. M., Carlini, N. A., Lynch, K. E., Kuszmaul, D. J., Chaves, A. B., & Mazzetti, S. A. Order of concentric and eccentric muscle actions affects metabolic responses. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness61(12), 2021:1587–1595. https://doi.org/10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12010-9

Franchi, M. V., Reeves, N. D., & Narici, M. V. Skeletal Muscle Remodeling in Response to Eccentric vs. Concentric Loading: Morphological, Molecular, and Metabolic Adaptations. Frontiers in physiology8, 2017: 447. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00447

Llopis, E., Perez, A., & Cerezal, L. Rotator Cuff. In J. Hodler (Eds.) et al., Musculoskeletal Diseases 2021-2024: Diagnostic Imaging, 2021: 11–21. Springer.

Sherman, S. L., DiPaolo, Z. J., Ray, T. E., Sachs, B. M., & Oladeji, L. O. Meniscus Injuries: A Review of Rehabilitation and Return to Play. Clinics in sports medicine39(1), 2020: 165–183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csm.2019.08.004

Sweeney, H. L., & Hammers, D. W. Muscle Contraction. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology10(2), 2018, a023200. https://doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a023200

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Question 


Exercise and Muscle Groups

Exercise and Muscle Groups

List 2 to 3 contraindicated exercises you have done or have seen a friend/family member do. Why do you think these exercises were done? What harm did they do?
What are the different kinds of muscular contractions? Provide an example of each in an exercise.
What muscles make up the rotator cuff? What exercises specifically target this muscle group?
What muscles comprise the quadriceps muscle group?
What muscles comprise the hamstring muscle group?

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