“I wish I could waste more time at the gym,” said no woman, ever. Before you set foot back in the gym, here are a few exercises you should consider dropping completely. They’re almost certainly not doing anything for you.
The Stationary Bike
Almost everyone uses the stationary bike to warm up. Some people use it as their main exercise. Bad move. If you’re not breaking a sweat, it ain’t doin’ nothin’ for ya. Even if you are breaking a sweat, there are more effective movements you could be doing that take just as long and will yield superior results.
What to do instead: Try jumping jacks, pushups for reps, and jumping rope. These three movements will have you breaking a sweat in short order and they burn way more calories and get the blood pumping faster and better than sitting on your rump, pumping your legs around and around.
The Machine Leg Press
Most women are terrified of getting “huge,” so they avoid a lot of the things that they’ve been told will make them big and bulky. Usually, this means they’re doing leg presses for leg strength, which is an epic fail for a number of reasons. First, the leg press machine eliminates the back from the normal movement of the squat – the “parent” move that this machine tries to modify.
It provides no feedback for balance, meaning you’re not training the small stabilizer muscles involved in standing and carrying something heavy. Finally, it’s way easy to cheat the leg press, and in some cases it’s actually necessary to complete the move because the machine itself doesn’t allow for proper movement that’s unique to each individual’s anthropometry.
What to do instead: Real squats. Look, unless you’re jacked up on dianabol or growth hormone, you’re not going to “get big.” No, by doing heavy squats the only thing that’s going to happen to you is you’re going to get sexy legs and abs.
Yes, by doing real squats, you get both legs and abs, plus a nice butt workout. Why abs? Because the abs are part of the stabilizers that help keep you from falling over. Do a real squat using this guide. Then, do some deadlifts. Your abs will be fried, along with your legs. And, you’ll end up looking like this. Or this.
Smith Machine Shoulder Presses
Smith machine shoulder presses are hack presses invented to take the place of regular overhead pressing, which is baffling, since overhead pressing is both safe and effective for building pressing strength and shoulder stability. Smith machines move in a fixed path, but safe shoulder pressing requires a slight curve in the bar path accompanied by a shoulder shrug on the way up to avoid impingement.
What to do instead: Real shoulder presses. There’s just no substitute for free weight overhead pressing.
Everyone loves crunches. The problem is that they’re very inefficient at building core strength. Why do people do them then? Because:
- Their trainer told them to and;
- They’re easy.
That’s it. Crunching is so ineffective that you’re more likely to crunch your spinal disks before you build rock hard abs.
What to do instead: Planks, squats, “vacuums,” and isometric holds. All of these work well, and you don’t need to be in the gym to do them. Of course, if you’re suffering from years of flab around the mid-section, you can use KR Plastic Surgery to get rid of loose skin.
But, aside from that, you’re better off doing exercises that are specifically designed to work the abs.
Dr. Kevin Ruhge completed his residency and fellowship training in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery at the prestigious University of California. A long-time plastic surgeon out of Pasadena and an avid writer, he hopes his posts will help others live happier, healthier lives. You can find his informative and helpful articles on a number of websites and blogsites today.
*Workout photo credited to TheMAXX81.