There are many types of exercises which can be performed in the gym: Endurance, aerobic, strength, balance, flexibility. Moves which are compound exercises and target more than one area of the body and moves which are isolated and only target one.
However, despite you being able to vary your workout and do multiple exercises when training a specific body part, there are some exercises which you’ll see most of the time in the gym which are not only ineffective but a complete waste of time.
Let us explore that.
#1 – Abductor/Adductor Machine
“I need to work on my inner thighs.” Then work your inner thighs, just not using an abductor or adductor machine.
Usually, people use these machine’s because they’re unhappy with the fat which is gained in the inner thigh area.
That said, the movement is so isolated it’s not really bringing you much benefit if any at all.
Instead, try some step ups or lunges. Both are a great exercise that works more than just one area of the leg: your quads, your hamstrings and, of course, your inner thighs. You’ll feel it more, it will be more effective and you’ll help burn off any fat which still remains in the inner thighs.
#2 – Side bends with dumbbells in both hands
You are counteracting what you are trying to do by having a Dumbell in each hand. Side bends are supposed to target the side of your abdomen and your obliques.
You’ll feel a stretching sensation when doing side bends with a weight in one hand only — this is because you are working the muscles as they should be worked.
By having a weight in each hand, you’re counteracting the work which you are doing. You’ll be just as well avoiding the exercise completely than doing side bends with weights in each hand.
#3 – Smith’s machine squats
Free weight squats are one of the best compound movements you can have in your weekly workout. Replicating this exercise on a Smith’s machine, however, is quite a different story.
Your body has an unnatural movement which can cause injuries when performing with heavier weights, especially with heavier weight. This can lead to injuries in your knees too, based on the movement the Smith’s machine does when squatting as opposed to normal squats.
Furthermore, you will be adding unnecessary stress to your lower back, putting your back in a weak position and demanding too much of it when squatting.
This isn’t mentioning the fact that using the Smith’s machine for squatting will hinder your strength and muscle gaining potential due to the support which it gives you and the major difference in technique.
Ditch the Smith’s machine squat and use a body weight squat. Use lower weight’s first until you get used to the movement and your form becomes correct.
#4 – Crunches
Seriously, why are you doing that?
Most people who go to the gym want their abs to shine through, yet they do hundreds of crunches and there’s no progression? Why? Because it’s a pointless exercise.
Crunches don’t really focus on your full abdominal muscles and are very much an exercise which is isolating one small part of the abdomen.
Often, the form is incorrect with crunches so people tend to add unnecessary stress and pressure to their spine and back.
Try some hanging leg raises or cross crunches instead to target more of the core area.
Remember: To see your abs, your diet is key! Don’t train abs every day and expect to get anything more than stronger abs – you’ll not see them with body fat covering them up.
#5 – Roman Chair Back Extensions
It’s a mouthful to even say, isn’t it? When performing this exercise, you have to ask yourself, what are you trying to achieve? Is it a stretch? If so, stretch more often to help your overall fitness. Or join a yoga class to help with that kind of movement.
Secondly, if you’re performing this exercise to help with muscle grow, again, why? It’s the same effect to performing an exercise with bad form, or a back exercise with a rounded back. You wouldn’t perform a deadlift with a rounded back would you now.
Now go to the gym, safe in the knowledge that you’re not wasting your time performing exercises which are not of any benefit to you.