Miguel Gisbert NSCA Personal Trainer – International Mountain Leader

The risks of physical exercise during the lock down

It has been more than two and a half weeks since we were confined and we have seen many initiatives and proposals to keep fit. Some of them are good, some other not so good and other directly carry a serious risk.

First of all, I must point out that when we talk about sport we talk about health and in the same way that we do not entrust our health to anyone we should not do it in this case either. It is a good measure of caution and protection for our body and our health, as well as to avoid labor intrusiveness, to hire qualified professionals and if they are Physical Activity and Sport Science Graduated much better.

Once that point is mentioned, we can analyze some of the “achievements” that some people have posted on the social media such as running a marathon on a 7 meters balcony. I guess a lot of people would instinctively think “that can’t be very good.” You just have to check that it is never professional athletes who publish these things. Yes, okay, because they have enough money and they have a treadmill at home (or they spend on that the little money they have, not all are football players), but also because there are some risks on that and they do not want to assume and we should not either.

To do a marathon, 42.2 km. on a 7 m. balcony our brave athlete will have to complete more than 6,000 times the space with its corresponding more than 6,000 direction changes. Each change of direction involves shock braking and a 180º turn, which carries a heavy burden on the joints, ligaments and tendons. This load is perfectly bearable during a normal workout in some high intensity session for a prepared athlete but no one will do that for nearly the 7 hours that took to complete the “race”. Moreover, it has nothing to do with a normal marathon, not even a mountain race in which there are more sharp twists and strong brakings because there are not so many, not so frequent, not so similar one to each other, nor so intense. It is not possible, in this small space, to achieve a proper speed and running technique to give us a benefit for the normal race and could be even harming our natural way of running.

The only thing we get, therefore, by running on balconies or corridors is to damage the way we run and to, very likely, get injured especially if we train for so long. I think it is not necessary to say how dangerous and irresponsible it would be these days to have an injury for which we need to go to the doctor. That is why it would be better to take these weeks as an active rest in which we perform complementary and compensatory exercises of our usual activity with elastic bands for example if we have them or with simple exercises on the ground. If we have experience or have the right advice we can introduce more intense series with TRX or steps using a small table. And if we want to do some cardio it is always a good option to get the technique of rope-jumping in a light and controlled way.

What exercises are you doing? Do you have any doubts about that? Ask me! 😉

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