You don’t have to work out longer to see results. You just have to be smarter in the gym. Far too many of us waste time performing exercises that we lack the proper mobility and form to execute. And there are countless exercises that you might need to ditch altogether because there’s a more effective option.
While I’m all for just making it to the gym, I’d suggest that you ditch these three gym exercises. Staying active is always a positive thing, but finessing your workout and keeping your body safe is essential if you want to see results and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Lat pulldown behind neck: I see this all the time. Ouch! While it can work on the muscles in the back and shoulders, most of us lack the mobility to perform this move without causing major damage. It places incredible pressure in the cervical spine and can easily create damage to the musculature of the neck and rotator cuff. Opt for lat-pulling in front of your neck to stay safe!
- Upright row: Ditch this exercise if you want to keep your shoulders and neck safe. And please avoid performing this move if you have any history of spinal or shoulder injury. This move can result in shoulder impingement, which could sideline you for weeks or even months at a time. Stick to far more effective moves that work the different muscles of the shoulder, like bent-arm lateral raises, incline press, shoulder presses and front raises.
- Captain’s/Roman’s chair: While I tend to stay away from crunches, especially as I’m training clients, and prefer working the core muscles in different angles, I’d suggest ditching this specific move as well. It’s really easy to engage the hip flexors instead of the other core muscles and isn’t as comprehensive as something like planks. Save time and work on variations of the plank, which can be progressed safely in a number of ways!