The 3 Worst Types of Conditioning by Dr. John Rusin Here's what you need to know... The bear crawl can be damaging to the shoulders and lower back. When programmed for maximal speed or time, it becomes an orthopedic nightmare. Do controlled developmental crawls instead of bear crawls. Yes, you'll still be smoked afterward. Stair running will turn your articular cartilage into ground beef. Do strict single-leg step ups instead. Burpees will definitely gas you, but speed squats reduce joint stress while leading to actual gains. Conditioning: The Cardio of the Strong? The average athlete loathes the very thought of traditional cardiovascular training. So it's no surprise that old school methods of conditioning have become a staple in many strength-training programs. While the general idea of choosing conditioning over cardio remains solid, the basic execution of these movements is lacking. Conditioning has likewise begun to make its way into the general training population, but some of the most mainstream forms of conditioning have become pitiful excuses for physical performance. This has resulted in non-contractile tissues like tendons, ligaments, and the rarely-forgiving joints of the body being subjected to some very stressful and unnecessary bouts of training. Destructive Conditioning If your primary objective of implementing conditioning to your strength program is to elevate your heart rate and anabolic hormone production, there are better methods than the following orthopedic pitfalls, listed from least damaging to most damaging.