When you are on a mission to lose weight or tone up, time and the benefits you’re deriving out of the exercise are key. The exercises and the moves you do add to your regime can make or break your workout.
At the same time, there are some exercises which may be less effective, or may not get you the desired benefits you want. Term them redundant, risky, less effective or making you more injury-prone, if you are consistently following a routine to get fitter, you’ll feel better off skipping these exercises.
Why are some exercises better than the other, and some plain bad?
While every exercise is designed in a manner that it tones and conditions core muscle groups, there are certain exercises which can be less-effective than others. It can so happen that certain exercises aren’t actually as useful as you deem them to be, and do not direct you to the results you want in a stipulated time. The exercises can be considered ‘old’ and redundant, and may actually be wasting your time. It’s also important that every individual include exercises which suit his/her needs, help fulfill targets faster and most of all, actually make you fit, instead of risking injuries. That explained, we tell you some exercises you are better off avoiding in your workout regime, whether you exercise at home or the gym:
Lat-pull down behind the head
While the Lat pull-down behind the head is considered to be a conditioning exercise for the back, it’s not a safe exercise worth trying. Since the exercise requires an individual to keep their spine absolutely straight at all times, any changes or variations can not just make the exercise less effective, but also put one at the risk of back injuries. Only people with mobile shoulders can attempt the exercise properly. Improper form, or having the bar hit the back of the neck can also cause considerable damage to the cervical vertebrae. Instead, attempting lat pulldowns have been long considered to be more beneficial, and relatively safer to do.
Despite all that is said about them, performing crunches may not actually get you the desired results and washboard abs you want. One thing that’s important to master with crunches is keeping the torso and spine aligned and if one curves the spine while lifting the torso, there could be significant strain imposed on the neck as well as the back. Since they also target only isolated muscle groups in the front, what’s better to do would be to perform planks, which are a superior functional move that target all vital core muscle groups.
Using the Leg Extension Machine exercise
If you are a regular gym-goer, you would have probably spotted the Leg Extension Machine. While performing seated leg extensions are considered to benefit your quadriceps and thigh muscles, do remember it’s a redundant exercise which only works out an isolated stretch, and doesn’t make for a proper leg workout in itself. More so, performing this exercise can stress out your knees and ACL Tendon, and not completely suitable for someone with knee pain.
What would be more effective to do is to perform box step-ups, which work out your quads and leg muscles in a single go. A natural flow exercise like this can be less impactful for the knees and the hips.
The biggest problem with performing upright rows or pulling weights such as a barbell under the chin area could be nervous compression. If not done correctly, or done for a number of repetitions, there can be significant nerve compression in the shoulder area.
Instead of doing upright rows, what’s a safer alternative to try is to work both your shoulders with front/lateral raises,by lifting weights to the side or the front of the body. It would support your natural form, promising better benefits as well. Do remember to keep a slight curve or a bend as you do so.