As a personal trainer and life long gym rat, I have seen my share of many so-called exercises that are simply a waste of time. Not every move or machine at the gym is going to make you stronger or fitter. Some are not that helpful at all, no matter how many reps you do.
Here’s the list and why:
Isn’t the purpose of abdominal exercises to create a tight waistline and go after that 6 pack? One would think. Side bends, especially with heavy dumbbells will actually create a thicker waist. No woman on the planet (or man for that matter) wants a thick waistline.
What to do instead: Planks, Side Planks and Pilates 100
Bottom line: Abs are 98% diet and genetics.
ANYTHING STANDING ON A STABILITY BALL OR BOSU
These have their place in a rehab center. There is no reason to do bicep curls or squats balancing on these. If you think jumping on them with any type of added weight will get you in shape please take a moment to watch the several “what not to do at the gym” videos on Instagram.
What to do instead: Any exercise NOT using a stability ball or BOSU
Bottom Line: These are for balance and rehab work, not for weight lifting. Stay on a flat immobile surface.
CASUALLY CARDIO-ING (this includes the Phonoholic)
We all see this one, scrolling through your newsfeed and/or walking at a slow-as-dial-up pace. Kick it up!
Bottom Line: Put the phone down and get your heart rate up. You will feel way more accomplished than reading about someone else posting about their workout.
ANY EXERCISE WITH BAD FORM IS A WASTE OF TIME
Bad form includes anything using jerking movements, using momentum instead of muscle, slamming weights, and just plain sloppy lack of control movements.
The worst exercises for bad form…
Tricep kickbacks- 90% of the time the weight is too heavy
Deadlifts- do not round your back, think flat
Squats- a squat is not a squat if you move the weight up and down 2 inches. Quick fix: Go below parallel. If you can’t, it’s too heavy.
Leg press- locking out the knees with a heavy load. Say hello to a compound break.
Bottom Line: If you are not going to follow strict, precise form, you WILL get hurt either long-term or short-term and also be doing all that work for nothing.
By improving your mechanics, you’ll not only be able to eventually lift more weight, but you’ll also be able to do it safely.
Tammy Patnode is an IFBB pro physique competitor and NPC judge. She is a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist. She offers contest prep, general training and weight loss programs for men and women that are customized for each client.
Tammy is one of our exclusive HerSUPPZ BRAND AMBASSADORS!
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(article updated from May 2018)