A typical routine of a gym member: hit the treadmill/elliptical for around 45 minutes; work the ab ball and do some crunches or hit the floor to so some push ups for another 15 to 20 minutes and then call it good and leave. If we are too ambitious, we might get a group fitness class in. But do we ever take a step back and see if those exercises are actually making a difference or not? I am not sure if a lot of people do that if their only goal is just to break a sweat each day and simply make it to the gym. It is important to assess the exercises we have been so religiously doing. I came across an article which talks about some of the worthless exercises which we all have been doing since time immemorial.
1). Overrated Crunches VS Planks: Since sit ups only involve the front ab muscles, it does not work the obliques or the lower abs, making them weak over a period of time. Hence in order to work all your ab muscles at the same time, replace ab crunches with plank exercises. They are more challenging and harder to do due to the fact that they really engage all your core muscles at the same time, giving you more bang for the time you are putting in. It also strengthens your back muscles at the same time.
2). Peck Deck Machine VS Bent Forward Cable Crossover: The peck deck machines at the gym might give you a perception of really working your pecks, they might in turn injuring your shoulder joints over time. Try replacing that with cable crossover machine will be engaging your biceps and arm muscles more than putting pressure on your shoulders.
3). Overrated Bench Presses VS Push-Ups: Just like peck deck machine exercises, these put tremendous pressure on the rotator cuffs leading to injuries and not being as effective in the end. Replacing bench presses with push-ups will help you in not only keeping your shoulder joints healthy, but also in engaging more muscle groups and getting a better workout. Push-ups not only work the arms, pecks, biceps and triceps, but your entire core at the same time, which makes it twice as effective.
Please let me know if there are more commonly performed exercises which are not as effective and should be replaced by other ones. I would love to know what you have to share.
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Have a great week everybody!