Finding the right work out moves can sometimes feel like hunting for a unicorn! There are so many suggestions out on the web that searching google for tips can become a full time job.
Usually you will hear about how what you choose to do should vary depending on what areas you want to focus on. Yet, there are some exercises that should be removed from your list. Some of the traditional suggestions turn out to be inefficient exercises.
Zimmermans via Wikimedia
Crunches are a staple in many people’s routine. However, the movement has quite a few problems.
First and foremost, it is not the best work out for either your obliques or abdominal muscles. Another thing that should put it on a delete list is that the movement is partially driven by you BACK.
If you perform too many crunches, it can lead to back problems. It is better to avoid this move entirely. Instead, you should PLANK!
phasinphoto via Freedigitalphotos.net
The plank is a move that engages both your abdominal and obliques in a better fashion. It also requires a stronger core.
Core strength will translate into other areas of your work out and overall give you a bigger benefit.
How many muscles does the Plank engage? So many that I can’t even count! Its primary muscles are the spine and the abdomen, but it is a whole body work out. It goes from your toes, up your hamstrings, through your glutes, into your abdomen, up and out through your deltoids!
The Plank can be modified to side and rear planks to get even more muscles engaged. Don’t waste your time with crunches when more muscles are worked in planking. Also, keep in mind that as a whole people spend the least amount of time on their abs, so use your limited time wisely.
Everkinetic via Wikimedia
Looking to get a good shoulder and chest work out? Lots of people will steer you towards the Bench Press. This exercise can get some good results (especially for the chest) but can also cause serious damage.
The Bench Press has its own injury known as bench press shoulder. This is because the bench actually limits the natural motion of your shoulder blades.
Instead you should do PUSH-UPS! It may seem cumbersome at first, but push-ups have a much more natural motion when it comes to strengthening your shoulders and chest.
On top of that the push up uses the abdominal muscles, the deltoids (shoulders), triceps, and pectoral muscles. It is an all-around good substitutions for the Bench.
Horrible Mention: Another shoulders/arms exercise that should be removed from your list is the triceps dip. The dip puts extra force on the shoulder and it becomes increasingly more likely that you can develop a rotator cuff problem! Push-Ups, Push-Ups, Push-Ups!
David Castillo Dominici via Freedigitalphotos.net
Most people can agree that someone who can bust out pull-ups is an obvious beast! However, the pull-up is another exercise that you should consider removing from your work out regime.
First and foremost the pull up starts from a dead hang which requires lots of pressure to perform. The dead hang position is actually unhealthy for some body types. Also, the pull up is better designed for men than women. So gender and body type play a HUGE role in whether you can perform.
Instead you should do INVERTED ROW. It is a similar motion but it removes the ‘dead hang’ aspect of the pull up.
It also removes the gender and body type barriers that are present when attempting to do a pull up.
The inverted row will help improve your overall posture and can decrease your back pains!
Inverted row targets your back muscles and your rear shoulder muscles. Areas that normally get missed in the gym. Go ahead and give it a try, anyone can do it, but not everyone can do 10!
SlimVirgin via Wikimedia
Leg day can be hard on anyone. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to go through that kind of pain to learn that you are actually only working on ONE MUSCLE?!
Leg press machines at the gym do exactly this! Yes, you feel like a boss dropping on a high weight number, but the problem is, not only are you working one muscle, but you are working a muscle that you don’t use in most day-to-day activities!
The motion of the lunge engages the muscles that you use in your day to day activities. Believe me, I have felt the truth! If you add in the clockwork motion (going from 12, 3, 6, 9 o’clock positions in your lunges) you add even more muscles to your work out.
The clockwork lunge engages 4 muscles when done in properly. You get the hamstring, quadriceps, butt, and inner thigh. It almost seems like a leg work out dream. It is definitely one you will pay for the next day, but see results for in more than just one spot on your body.
KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE!
None of these exercises are WRONG to do. Most have been found to be tried and true for a work out regime. But, I want to be smart about this. If I am going to work out, I want things that are going to do more than bring bulge in my bicep.
I want moves that are used in my day to day life and have my muscles moving in a more natural way. Also, most of my suggestions work out MORE muscles than their counterparts. So you are doing more muscles in the same amount of time. Which is always better.
What do you think, are you going to shed any excess exercise after reading about ones you could substitute?
Leave a comment
All comments are moderated before being published.