5 Gym Exercises To Cross Off Your List

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With the influx of machines on the market and constantly updated training modalities, there are a host of moves that should be kept on your checklist while others are better retired to the sidelines. Below are some training methods you’ve most likely seen at the gym that you can substitute for more effective moves.

Crunches
They put a lot of strain on your back and over time can damage your spine. Doing this move repeatedly is like bending down to pick up an object using your back not your knees, which physical therapists always caution against.

Better option: the plank

American Kettlebell Swings
An alternate version of the Russian kettlebell swing, this move starts at the groin and ends at a 90 degree angle above the head. The problem with this motion is that most people end up arching their backs to compensate for the weight of the kettlebell. It puts a lot of strain on your lower back and can lead to injury. If you opt for this move, make sure a trained professional can guide you to proper form.

Better option: medicine ball throw

Leg Extension machine
It’s primary purpose is to strengthen your quadriceps; however, the move is not functional, meaning it is a motion your body is not meant to do. Over the long run it can lead to increased stress on the ligaments and tendons surrounding your knees.

Better option: traditional squats

Hip Abductor machine
It only targets a limited group of small muscles and is not effective for building well-sculpted glutes from all angles. To get all your muscle groups working, it is better to do walking lunges, step ups and targeted exercises with ankle weights.

Better option: side steps with a resistance band around both ankles

Seated Behind-the-Neck Lat Pull-Down
If you don’t have flexible shoulders, this move can injure your rotator cuffs. A better option is to pull the bar towards your chest, this will still work your lats but in a safer way.

Better option: incline pull-ups

Seated Rotation machine
In this move, your chest and shoulders move while your hips stay in a neutral position, which is very strenuous on your spine.

Better option: cable wood chop

 

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