Four common exercises you shouldn’t be doing

Four common exercises you shouldn’t be doing

They say any workout is a good one and while that’s true in theory there are some specific things you really shouldn’t be doing.
Trainers far and wide recommend you’d be wise to consider leaving the following exercises out of your fitness regimen:
1. Crunches – Not only don’t crunches work very effectively, they can actually be dangerous to your back.
Repeatedly flexing and extending your back while doing crunches can potentially damage your spinal cord. Instead, trainers today recommend doing planks to strengthen core muscles, along with a vast variety of compound exercises in which the core is engaged.
2. Leg extensions – A leg extension is part of a group of risky movements called open chain exercises.
These single-joint, isolation movements put excessive force on the knee.
Instead of leg extensions, work the quads with exercises such as deadlifts or the hip sled or leg press.
These latter exercises spread the force out more evenly in the legs and knee joint.
3. Behind the neck lat pulldowns – Just say no to behind the neck lat pulldowns.
They can put excess strain on the neck and rotator cuff.
Most trainers tell people to only do lat pulldowns by pulling them down in the front and down to the chest.
4. Hip adductor machine – These exercises work only a very small part of the upper leg muscles.
A better choice is to perform lunges, which can be done as walking lunges, cross-behind lunges and step-ups. They will work the inner and outer thighs better than hip adductor machines, and also train the entire leg for functional movement.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

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