Thursday 2 February 2012

Exercises you should never be doing in the gym

Bit of an off the cuff blog today as over the last month with the influx of new gym members i have witnessed some awful exercise technique and overheard some very strange conversations regarding training and diet.

So here's a few exercises i have seen which serve very little purpose or are quite dangerous:

Tricep kickbacks - An exercise favoured by many women, however the goals are usually to 'tone' the upper arm (bingo wing), put simply it will not do anything fast and is very much near the bottom of tricep exercises. Form is usually very poor and more of a swinging motion than an extension of the elbow is employed. Drop this and replace with some overhead cable extensions, which will work all 3 heads of the triceps.

Tricep Bench Dips - Awful exercise, usually done with a couple of plates loaded on to the upper legs with feet on a bench and palms facing down on a seperate bench opposite. The reason this exercise is so poor is two-fold; firstly the range of motion is very limited for the actual tricep muscles (it's almost a shoulder/pec movement) and secondly the shoulder joint and pectorals are positioned in such a way that you're stabilising a heavy load through an intricate joint, slip or get this wrong and it's a sure fire way to tearing your pec. Switch for close grip bench presses instead, similar plane of movement with a much more natural shoulder position.

Anything standing on an exercise/swiss ball - There is simply no productive reason to try and stand on one of these, you cannot do anything on them that is better than having your feet firmly planted on the ground while exercising. It will not work your core more and is simply dangerous, even more so for new gym members with little gym coordination.

Walking on a treadmill - Dont pay £30+ to walk in the warm comfort of a gym, put an extra layer on and go for a walk outside!

A final comment on squatting - It is my opinion that everyone should include squats in their routine, everyone that is capable that is, however over the last month i have seen an increase in very poor squatting form. This is a complex lift and when loading the back with a heavy weight can result in injury. avoid injury by having one of the fitness instructors at the gym show you how to squat properly. It will serve you well and overall results whether they be muscle increase or fat loss will come much quicker.

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