While on your fitness journey, it is important to not just exercise but perform effective exercises with the right form, and those that suit your fitness ideals.
It is common to stumble upon some exercises that are universally performed however, may be less effective, or may not get you the desired benefits you want. The exercises and the moves you do add to your regime can make or break your workout.
While every exercise is designed in a manner that tones and trains core muscle groups, there are certain exercises that can be less effective than others, hence may not be as useful as you deem them to be, and do not direct you to the results you want in a stipulated time. All bodies are different, so it is also important to customize your workout so as to meet your capabilities and fitness requirements, without risking injuries.
Term them redundant, risky, less effective or making you injury-prone, so whether you workout at the gym or home — might just consider skipping them from your workout routine!
Also Read: Do Right By Your Push-ups
Lat pull-down behind the back
While the lat pull-down behind the head is considered to be a conditioning exercise for the back muscles, it is rather not safe to try. The exercise requires an individual to keep their spine erect 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 safe.
Despite all that is said about them, performing crunches may not actually get you the desired results and washboard abs you want. It is one thing that abs are made in the kitchen, another important to master with crunches is keeping the torso and spine aligned and if you curve your 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 superior functional moves that target all vital core muscle groups.
Using the Leg Extension Machine
Regular gym-goers are probably well aware of 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 that 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 is not completely suitable for someone with knee pain.
Box step-ups could be a better alternative, which works 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 keeping a slight curve across your elbows. Lateral/front raises would support your natural form, promising better benefits as well.