Why the Most Popular Fitness Trends Could Set You up for Failure

October 1st 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

In a time where two in every three adult Americans is considered overweight or obese, intense home work-out DVDs and trendy fitness classes are growing in popularity. But can these trends set us up for failure or injury?

Classes like Soul Cycle and Barry's Bootcamp have celebrity followings, including First Lady Michelle Obama and Kim Kardashian West respectively. Ads for home DVD's like Insanity and P90x promote an intense workout and have great testimonials boasting big results. Experts say it's true that these intense workouts can make you stronger and can even promote weight loss.

“We’ve shown that when it comes to cardiovascular fitness and function, greater intensity leads to greater adaptations,” Todd Astorino an associate professor in the department of kinesiology at California State University, San Marcos told Time.

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However, intense trendy workouts could set you up for failure if you're a beginner in this whole fitness thing, or out of shape at the moment.

The popularity of intense fitness trends can put pressure on people to attend before they're ready, and sometimes that goes badly. One woman who attended a Beverly Hills Soul Cycle class sued the company, claiming she was “catastrophically injured” in 2014 after an instructor allegedly shamed her for pedaling too slowly.

Also home DVD's can demonstrate a fitness move, but there's no instructor to correct novice users who may have improper form, and bad form can lead to injury.

Men's Fitness talked to Justin Price, who owns The BioMechanics in San Diego, a company that specializes in correcting chronic muscle and joint pain. He explained why people with office jobs can hurt themselves if they jump into an intense fitness routine too quickly:

Here are three common injuries people get when they suddenly train too hard or use bad form.

1. Foot and ankle injuries.

"People spend their days in front of their computer with rounded shoulders," said Price to Men's Fitness. "When your shoulders are rounded and you stand up, your weight falls to the front of your foot." When your foot is tipped forward too much your feet and ankles will take most of the force during running or training.

2. Knee.

"We don't use our hip muscles during the day, then we decide to go kickbox or do bootcamp," said Price to Men's Fitness. This initially sounds unrelated, but not using your hips all day can contribute to knee injury.

"If our feet aren't stable, due to improper footwear, and our hip muscles aren't strong, the knee gets all the stress," Price told Men's Fitness.

3. Back.

"If someone is rounded throughout the day in their upper back, and then they go to the gym and do an overhead shoulder lift standing, their upper back cannot extend properly," said Price to Men's Fitness. "They straighten and arch upward from their lower back, which has a nervous breakdown because it's getting all the stress."

To prevent injury, experts recommend starting a new exercise program slowly and gradually build up to an intense workout program and make sure that you're using the proper form.

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