the worst exercise of all time

When I worked at the big box gym’s(yes we all start somewhere) I recall how I would work the gym floor and gringe every 100 metres people doing bicep curls like they were in a standing hip thrust position, often I would ask if it was ok for me to show them and most often people were receptive, I would teach them how to connect the mind and muscle and not just pull or push the weight but focus on activating the muscle groups,sqeezing,bracing for impact and stabilising the core.

A reason why I moved from the big box gyms was to treat people like well people not just numbers, we make a point at our gym when a member joins up, we show and explain them how to execute the movement which reduces the chance of injury. Especially for someone relatively new to the gym scene they often go for the first few times only to feel “lost” and confused.

Newsflash: Some moves (and blingy exercise machines) do not actually do that much for you—and some can be downright dangerous.

So Here is what to do instead the next time you hit the gym.

Next time you hot the weights take a good look around your gym: Chances like I did in the past you’ll probably see some fellow gym-goers hammering out these exercises. But that does not mean you should too. These crazy common moves also found on social media are, at best, ineffective—at worst, dangerous.

Here, are some honourable mentions before I give you my worst exercise of all time you should ditch from your workout routine, and what to do instead.

Don’t do this Heavy Bicep Barbell Curls

The number one rule here is to reduce the sway, you want to keep a neutral spine and do not curl the weight up until your forearm touches your biceps 

Do this instead isolated Barbell curls  

Grab a lighter bar stand against the wall and move the bar halfway up keeping tension on your biceps this will enable to focus on the muscle you also want to bang out around 8 reps on your own in a controlled manner.

Don’t do this Lat pulldowns behind the head

When performing lat pulldowns, the number one rule is that the bar should always stay in front of your body. As in, always. “Otherwise, it’s a shoulder injury waiting to happen,” Pulling the bar down and behind your head and neck places extreme stress and strain on the front of the shoulder joint so a big no no.

Do this instead: Wide grip lat pull-downs to the front

Pulldowns are still your traps’ main move—just focus on aiming the bar toward your collarbone. You do not need to bring the bar all the way to your chest, but you should move in a controlled direction.

Don’t do this Triceps Dips (definitely no if you have a shoulder issue)

It’s meant to train your triceps, but it can easily end up overloading the small muscles that make up your shoulder’s rotator cuff. “It’s a risk to lift your body weight when your upper arms are behind your torso,”. Damage those muscles and even everyday tasks—like drying or washing your hair—can become painful.

Do this instead Cable pushdowns

I love triceps pushdowns especially for building the back of the arm. Rope or bent bar pushdowns are effective in both peak and muscle burns.  

Don’t do this partial squats

When you half or partial squat, the entire chain you have just traced is under tension. The patella tendon (between the patella and the tibial tuberosity) pulls on the tibia and causes it to slide forward slightly, grinding against the femur (thigh bone) as it does so. This is known as a shear force. It causes uneven loading of the articular cartilage over the ends of the bones in your knee. The result? Cartilage damage and knee pain.

Do this instead full squat

Nothing beats a full squat, by controlling the weight and dropping right down into the bottom of a deep squat, the POSTERIOR chain (everything up the back of your leg) really kicks in. The hamstrings (the muscle at the back of your leg) have the opposite effect as the quadriceps and oppose the shearing caused by the anterior chain.

The forces around your knee are now equal, the muscles are strengthened, and you are correctly performing the most important exercise there is.

What is a Ballistic stretch?

To better understand this term ballistic stretching uses the momentum of a moving body or a limb to force it beyond its normal range of motion. This is stretching, or “warming up”, by bouncing into (or out of) a stretched position, using the stretched muscles as a spring which pulls you out of the stretched position.

Don’t do this Ballistic standing toe stretch

Standing upright, bouncing and jerk down to touch the toes repeatedly trying to exceed the normal range of movement. 

Do this instead hip thrust 

I love this movement as it build’s strength and size in your glutes in a way many other exercises cannot, and hip thrust is the gift that keep son giving, from athletes to older adults over age 65. Glute strength is important for the stabilization of your core, pelvis, and lower body

The worst exercise of all time must go to the burpee

The burpee is the dumbest exercise ever made up for beginners and novice athletes, most people when performing this movement are not only jamming their wrist into extension, then on top of that putting a huge amount of stress on the front r shoulder, which is the weakest part of the shoulder. Neither of those things is good in a singular sense, and they are clearly not good in high repetitions, and not to mention the body shame of your top all the way up to your throat and all whilst trying to keep your shorts on.

The bottom line is that yes there is something to be said for pushing through muscle fatigue and discomfort.

But most important when discomfort turns into pain, the opposite is true.

 “Pain is your body’s way of saying, ‘Stop! If you keep doing this, I am going to tear, break, or strain,'”. What is the difference, exactly? While discomfort feels like a dull or burning ache in the muscles, acute pain tends to be sharp and sudden, and most often strikes near a joint.

SO not only do you need to follow these movements you need to make sure the gym you go to has your back I created a video around this:

How to choose between fitness center or personal training studio?

We as your trainer care about your health,” “There is a big difference between soreness and disabling pain. You hire trainers like us to keep you going, not to stop you from moving!”

Keep laughing with health
Fred

About Fred Liberatore

My name is Fred Liberatore and I’m a Body Transformation Expert at REALfit, located in East Malvern in Victoria. If you’re looking for a Personal Trainer, look no further. The REALfit team will train you hard while you slim down and learn how to live a healthier lifestyle here’s proof, click here to view our Success stories.

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