Don’t be Misled by Fancy Headlines
I recently had a chance to review an interesting article on Shape.com
while doing routine research into current fitness trends and topics. The article entitled “7 Exercises and Gym Machines to Skip” caught my attention for several reasons.
Certainly I’m not the target demographic for Shape however the sub-headline promised to give me “more from every minute by swapping out ineffective and risky exercises for smarter moves that will work more muscle in less time.” As someone that spends a fair of amount of time in the gym, I was curious which exercises/machines were deemed ineffective and risky by the experts at Shape.
As I reviewed the list I found the hip abduction/adduction machine, the seated torso rotation and the Swiss ball wall squat. Okay. So far, so good. I’m not a huge fan of these machines and movements but I’ve been known to insert them in a workout from time to time, but to be honest I can take them or leave them.
As I continued reading down the list, I was surprised that Shape highlighted the Smith machine, tricep kickbacks / overhead extensions, leg extensions AND the lat pulldown machine. What?!? In my opinion, several of these machines and movements are core to fitness and should be part of everyone’s workout routine.
For the most part, the article cites bad form as the primary reason the aforementioned exercises are risky. Well, by that logic EVERYTHING in the gym is risky. I’ve seen dozens of people do bicep curls ineffectively, so does that mean that they should be avoided? Absolutely not! The answer isn’t to avoid exercises that can be risky but to do them more effectively—properly.
As a former pharmaceutical sales rep I always told my doctors that the most ineffective medication was the one that a patient forgot to take. In the fitness world the most ineffective exercise is the one that is done incorrectly. So what’s the takeaway? Don’t be fooled by fancy headlines because they might be misleading. Do your homework and figure out what works best for you.
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