If you read The Bro's Guide to 5 Gym Mistakes, hopefully you won't be making those mistakes anymore. It is my goal to help you understand not only which exercises are BAD for you, but to help you learn which ones give you a better result. Here are 5 MORE exercises that you should not be doing. They are ineffective, a waste of time and sometimes downright injurious.
"Hey Bro, I'm gonna rip up my Pecs". Well, unlikely. But you could very well being ripping up your shoulder joint, one of the most unstable joints in the body.
The Pec Deck, also known as the Machine Fly, puts a ton of stress on the front of the shoulder while also shortening and tightening the muscles on the back of the shoulder. The result can be shoulder impingement syndrome.
Not so great.
"But I get more out of this than anything - it really hits the Pecs super-hard".
Wrong again. A peer-reviewed study out of Truman State University has shown that the Pectoralis muscles contract 23% less of the time when doing this exercise than when test subjects did flat bench presses. So, stop wasting your time and putting your shoulder joint at risk!!!
Hey, bro, if you're doing this exercise, I feel very, very sorry for you. It not only LOOKS ridiculous, it IS ridiculous. I'm not making any judgments here (well, maybe just a little), but this machine is completely useless. Save that contraption for your next appointment with the gynecologist.
Whether you are pressing your legs out (Hip Abduction) or in (Hip Adduction), you are wasting your time.
There is nothing even remotely like this motion in real life. If works primarily the stabilizers of the hip that work all day long anyway, anytime you are standing up. It misses all of the other muscles that we actually use to move, like the Glutes, Hamstrings and Quads.
Plus, being locked in a seated posture may cause a pulling on the spine which could result in back spasms, or worse, bulging or herniated disks. Not good, dude.
To work your Abductors and Adductors effectively, do these motions in standing, with a band or cable attached to your ankle. Or even better, do lateral and cross-over lunges for a really effective workout of these muscles and the prime movers of the body and a MUCH higher metabolic effect.
I hope you have found this information helpful and that if you were doing any of these ineffective or risky exercises, this will help you to make some better choices. I always have my eyes open at the gym and some of the dudes just insist on doing stupid things. I'll write more about them in a future post.
Greg Rothman, MS PT, is a fitness professional, writer and the owner of Empower Fitness in NYC. He received his Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from Columbia University and has twenty years of experience in the fitness and rehabilitation fields. He believes that absolutely anyone can have the body of their dreams once they understand how to eat and exercise in a way that supports their goals. It is his mission to Empower as many people as possible to do just that. His “Recession-Proof” Fitness Programs are an affordable way to find dramatic physical change over the course of 10 weeks. Greg is happy to hear from you if you have questions about any topic related to fitness or nutrition, and can be found at www.GetEmpoweredFitness.com.