Every day I walk into a gym I shake my head. I’m never surprised about what I’m witnessing, just severely disappointed. I thought this would be a great opportunity to let out some frustration, so this post will be dedicated to a few of the most popular exercises that certain people do that have little to no affect. Keep in mind, I’m talking about those strictly interested in losing weight and body fat and getting into great shape. So, what exercises should you avoid doing at all costs?
1. Hip Adductor/Abductor Machine
- Not only is this an isolation exercise that burns a limited amount of calories during and after your workout, these same muscle tend to be overactive in most people and should only be worked through movement based exercises, where they are worked just as well anyway.
Do Instead: Full Range of Motion Squats(all variations), Lunges and Step-ups (all directions), Dead Lifts (all variations)
2. Upright Row/Front Raises
- Upright rows tend to place a large amount of stress on the supportive structures of the shoulder girdle, while medial rows do close to nothing. Not to mention most of these exercises are done with poor posture and movement patterns that only exacerbate deep structural deficiencies.
Do Instead: Full Range of Motion Bench press/Push-ups (all variations), Overhead pressing (all variations except behind the head)
*If you MUST do upright rows, do them laying down. This puts your body in a less comparable position and corrects malalignment in your posture.
3. Knee Extension Machine
- Knee extension exercises are often done with too much weight at the wrong tempo, and places excessive force on the patella (knee cap). If your goal is weight loss and fat reduction, you’re simply wasting your time. You’ll get more bang for your buck by doing compound exercises such as squats and lunges.
4. Ab Exercises with your torso locked in place
- I love rotational exercises for the obliques, but never lock your upper body down in order to rotate the lower body to do so. Doing this creates mobility in the lumbar spine (where we don’t want it) and decreases mobility in the thoracic spine and shoulders (where everyone absolutely needs it)
Do Instead: Standing oblique rotations with band or cable, side laying V-ups, side plank thread the needles
Although certain isometric exercises have their place, if you are as busy as any of my clients, your time could be better spent! If your goal is fat loss and weight loss, stick to compound lifts and supersets that train the entire body.