Some exercises you should never do as they just flat out suck. Mainly because people do them thinking that they help fix a certain area, when in actuality they do very little for the intended target, if not create problems.
Here are some that fall into that category and a replacement you can do to hit the area you are after:
This worthless exercise is wildly popular at your local gym. It looks like a great oblique exercise because it seems to target those pesky love handles. Unfortunately the looks of this one are deceiving.
The motion of bending to the side is only a small portion of the movement that the obliques are responsible for.
Your obliques main job is to rotate your torso from side to side, activating a lot more of the muscles that wrap around your waist from front to back. Thereby recruiting and strengthening a lot more usable muscle.
The biggest problem with this exercise is the thought that doing this side bending motion will target and get rid of the love handles.
There is no way to target a trouble area for spot fat loss, so efforts to do so are futile, here and anywhere else that may be a problem.
If you want to work your obliques in a way that will strengthen them properly, then replace these with something like Wood Chops for better results.
See Also: How To Get Six Pack Abs
Behind the Neck Shoulder Presses
These rotator cuff searing shoulder presses should be avoided at all costs.
Lowering a weighted bar behind the neck places a lot of undo strain on the neck and rotator cuffs. These are small stabilizing muscles in the shoulders that keep the joint functioning properly.
If you insist on doing these presses then there is a good chance that a rotator cuff injury is waiting for you in your future.
People will often do this exercise because:
- They have seen someone else doing them
- They are trying to target the back of the shoulders and/or upper part of the back.
Shoulder presses with a barbell should be done with the bar in front of you. When done correctly, the pressing movement recruits plenty of muscle from the front and middle parts of the shoulder.
If the rear part of the shoulders is the target then an exercise like Reverse Flys (done in many different varieties) is a much better option.
See Also: How To Build Muscle On Back
Hip Adductor Machine
This is another exercise that looks a lot better than it actually is. The goal for people who do this exercise is to try to “tone” the inner thighs.
The first failure in this exercise lies in the set up, the seated position. Sitting down takes a lot of muscle that would otherwise be recruited out of the picture.
In this machine, you sit and bring your knees together and use your hip adductor muscles to do so.
The problem is the hip adductor muscles are not the ones that will make your inner thighs shape up and tone up the way most users intend.
Shapely legs come from doing exercises that recruit major muscles within the legs during exercises like squats and these lunges and others like them.
See Also: Best Legs Exercises
Last on this list is the shrug. Guys on their quest to get big do these exercises like they are going out of style.
Sadly, these things have not gone out of style and remain around to be passed on from one exerciser to another. You want bigger traps (trapezius muscles) so you look bigger, I get it.
The problem is most guys will do these as their only real effort to get those traps and look big. An easy way to consistently get good trap work in during your workout is to change the way you perform your row exercises (bent over rows, barbell rows, etc.).
Your traps activate automatically when you pull something back toward you if you are pulling toward your shoulder (not toward your waist or ribs).
In the meantime, a good substitute for your shrugs would be to do some dumbbell rows and get plenty of good back and core exercise along the way.
See Also: Core Stability Exercises For Beginners