If you are like most people, working out is not exactly the best time of your day. So when do you take the time to work out, you want to make sure you are getting the most out of every move. The better the moves feel and the faster you see results, the more likely that you will start to enjoy your workouts. So here are the workouts you want to avoid if you don’t want to waste your time.
These are exercises that pretty much no one enjoys anyway so it’s probably a good thing that they are not good for your workout. Crunches only work the front ab muscles and not the waist or the lower abs, therefore it could create a muscle imbalance which can lead to back problems. Settle for regular sits ups or even planks which work all the ab muscles.
Trust me you do not want to be doing Supermans if you are trying to look like Superman. This exercise involves laying on your stomach and then raising the arms and legs. It is a very small range of motion and it is often done incorrectly which leads to lower back problems. There is also no way to make the move harder or adjust for skill level so it basically becomes useless quickly even if done correctly.
3) Abductor/ Adductor Machine
This machine is all about training those muscles of the inner and outer upper thigh and getting that burn within them. However, since these muscles never work in isolation it is bad to work them out that way. Instead you should focus on lunges which work all of the muscles in the legs that typically work together. That way you are working out more muscles and they are working in a way they do naturally.
4) Lying Leg Curl
Not only do most people look ridiculous doing it, the Lying Leg Curl is really not an exercise anyone needs to be doing. It forces your muscles to work in a way that they do not normally move. Just about any other leg exercise will be more effective at working your leg muscles because they do so in a way that your legs are meant to and it works the muscles you actually use.
5) Round Back Deadlifts
If you are just a casual exerciser or someone just looking to tone up you likely have not tried this exercise. If you have it’s either because you were misled about its effectiveness or you just saw someone else doing it and gave it a try. In reality it can very easily put too much strain on your shoulders and lead to severe injuries. If you really want to work your glutes (which what this exercise is for) then stick with squats or the leg press.
6) Lat Pull Down Behind the Head
If you are looking at that machine with the hanging bar and think it’s a good idea to work your muscles by pulling the bar down behind your head…just don’t. While this may seem like a good exercise and the bulky guys at the gym look great doing it, most people do not have the shoulder flexibility to do this with proper form. That means you are likely to injure yourself doing an exercise that is nowhere near as efficient as a military press (which works the same muscles).
7) Tricep Kickbacks
if you are female then this is the exercise that many have touted as the way to get rid of saggy arms, and it looks like it would be too. However, just don’t. Not only can you not spot train that way, this exercise does not work the muscle as effectively as other exercises. It is also hard to increase weight with this exercise and therefore you won’t tone your triceps effectively. Instead go for good old fashioned pushups.
8) Shoulder Shrugs
No, just no. This is useless and is more likely to turn you into a strange looking hunchback than having the well-toned shoulders that you are looking for. Since this exercise only works one muscle in the shoulder even if you did build up that muscle it would be larger than the rest and would not only bulge out but it could lead to injuries later.
9) Smith Machine Squats
This machine is just a disaster waiting to happen. The bar you use does not move from its straight path so it can force your back into a position it is not used to. Most people will also put themselves into a bad squat position when using the machine so it’s typically not effective and it can lead to injury.
10) Upright Rows
This exercise has some of the same problems as shoulder shrugs where you could overwork the muscles that you should not be. What this means is that you are headed straight for a rotator cuff injury and you likely will not be getting the results you want anyway. You’ll see better results with straight arm raises.
11) Dumbell Loaded Side Bends
This exercise gets added to the growing pile of exercises that don’t do what you think they will and you’ll probably get hurt doing them anyway. Even done properly this exercise puts too much compression on the spine as the soft tissues within the spine. Therefore you are at significant risk of rupturing a disc as you do this exercise.
12) Standing Chest Fly
This exercise is meant to work your chest and it does if you do it laying down. However when you do it standing up gravity is pulling down on your arms. Therefore instead of working your chest, you are really working your shoulders. Even worse is that you are putting stress on your rotator cuffs which could lead to injury especially as you increase weight.
13) Vertical Leg Press
This leg press does work your legs but it also puts a lot of pressure on your spine. This is just a back injury waiting to happen especially if you start getting into really high weights. If you want to work your legs and have less chance of injury, stick with weighted squats.
14) The Elliptical
This could be said for almost any cardio machine, but the elliptical allows you to get lazy in your workouts. If you choose a leisurely pace and go on the elliptical for 30 minutes while watching your favorite show, you really aren’t getting a workout. Pick a speed and intensity that gets you sweating and your heart rate up, if you do this the elliptical is great. The problem is most people think that just being on the elliptical is enough of a workout, which is fine but you won’t see the results you want if you don’t push yourself a little.
15) Wrist Curls
The purpose of this exercise is really not clear, although it may be intended to strengthen a person’s grip. It is important to remember that your wrist is a joint that you want to protect and not a muscle you want to strengthen. Therefore go with an exercise like the Farmer’s Walk if you want to improve grip. That way you won’t stress the wrist and you’ll work more of your body.