5 Exercises To Stay Away From

Image by: Jon Tunnell
By Kurt Garrity

All exercise is good, right? Wrong. There are a few well-known and still practiced moves out there that people should not be doing. Ever. So you need to pay attention, fella, or things far worse than athlete’s foot will creep into your workout.

The bottom line is this: By continuing to do all of the wrong things, you are not only wasting your valuable time, you are also risking serious injury. So let’s all make a few smart changes and move on, shall we?

Here are five exercises you should avoid:

1- Behind-The-Head Military Press

It sounds like a pretty good exercise on paper, right? Well this military-grade nonsense actually puts too much strain on the shoulders and only works a few “small” muscles, which, say experts, is a sure-fire way to limit the effectiveness of your workout.

Leave the small muscle training to the pros. Go big, Captain Everlast – the large muscle groups are most likely where you want to be.

2 – Anything That Pulls Weight Toward The Chin

These exercises include barbell lifts, rowing machines and pulling on tensioned cables with handles. Why is this bad? When you pull a heavy weight or cable toward your chin, you punish the shoulder by compressing the nerves. And nerve damage is no fun.

3 – Rotation Machine

Give your back a break. Rotation machines do little if anything to lead to a slimmer, trimmer you. In fact, all you are doing when you use a seated rotation machine is putting extra wear and tear on your lower back – for almost no workout gain whatsoever. Stop the madness!

There are so many other options … look into them.

4 – Standard Sit-Ups

Although a standard in schoolyards and gyms everywhere, the old-school sit-up is something you should avoid if you can help it. Not only will your lower back thank you, your neck will be relieved of that awkward pressure applied by your arms and hands as you try to “lift” your upper torso into “sit up” position.

Then there’s the improper breathing that’s going on (there’s a reason why your face is all red). Time to retire this dinosaur.

5 – Smith Machine

This old-time torture device is still found in many gyms. But don’t be tempted – the Smith Machine is a tragedy of form and function. Simply put, your body wasn’t made to sit with your back flat against a pad while you reach behind your head and pull down.