We know, we know, it’s a headline you never thought you’d read. But it’s true. There are a number of workouts that you will see people doing at your gym any given day of the week that are actually ineffective. Unless you have the best form and are using the machines exactly as instructed, then you actually may be doing more harm than good to your body.
The following have recently been named by WebMD as some of the least effective exercises that you can do:
Behind the Head Lat Pull Downs- Unfortunately, only those with very mobile shoulder joints can keep their spine straight enough to get a good workout from the behind the back lat pull down bar. The move done wrong can actually tear the rotator cuff.
Behind the Head Military Press- This exercise done similarly to the behind the head lat pull down, can cause the same problems with the rotator cuff that the aforementioned could cause.
Upright Row- This exercise done by pulling weights or a barbell underneath your chin can compress the nerves in your shoulder, actually impinging the shoulder.
Lying Leg Press (with knees bent too deeply) – This exercise is typically done to work your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes and is done on a machine where you use your feet to push a weighted plate up and down. Unfortunately if you bend your knees too far, then you can seriously injure your back and/or knees.
Squats on a Smith Machine- While the Smith Machine is generally an effective machine, the bar on the machine doesn’t give, which can force the body into risky positions, including placing the feet too far in front of you while doing their squats.
Using Bad Form on Cardio Machines- While using bad form is not good on any machine, using bad form on cardio equipment is a big no-no. Hunching over can throw off your alignment, jarring your spine, shoulders and elbows.
Always Lifting with a Weight Belt- You will see plenty of people around your gym who are constantly wearing a weight belt. Unless you have a back injury, are lifting a lot of weight or if you have some other medical reason, then a weight belt is not necessary. Wearing a weight belt too often can weaken your core muscles, throwing off your entire workout.
Any Exercise Done While Wearing the Wrong Shoes- Wearing the appropriate shoes for working out is as important as using the proper form. Working out in the wrong type of shoes increases the pounding on your joints, and can lead to problems like plantar fasciitis or tendinitis.
While these are only a few exercises that have been deemed ineffective if done the wrong way, there are plenty of other machines and workouts that can harm you if you are doing them wrong.
Be sure to consult with the trainers at your gym before starting any workout and learn the proper way to use the machines that they have on hand.