Joints - Who Needs 'em?
By Raymond Shipley
So often when training I inform about the effects of impact on joints during exercise. This has become one of the keys issues I have noticed when working with clients over the past decade; the intensity of impact gradually increasing in an attempt to improve physique, and look really cool doing it. Unfortunately, despite high impact exercise being beneficial in improving physique, and it can be fantastic for this and several other things, my experience has forced me to shy away from said training style in order to protect the joints of my clients. With very few exceptions, I do not use high impact exercises due to the potential negative effects. With so many other, far safer, methods of training to achieve the desired result, why flirt with something as important as joint issues? Knees and lower back are two key problems I've dealt with in training clients throughout my career, and I sleep soundly at night knowing I was not the cause of the injury.
There are so many inferences to considerable risk of injury with high impact and plyometric training it's hard to choose one to include here. What I will say is even articles condoning such training are peppered with warnings to not perform these exercises with existing joint issues, must have doctor approval, and require close, one on one working with an experienced trainer. My view is unless you have dire need of performing a sport competitively, stay away from high impact exercise. Moreover, if low impact exercises seem to be good enough for your trainer, you'd better believe they're good enough for you!