Wondering why you’re still not reaching your fitness goals? Sometimes, it’s not how much time you spend exercising but how you’re working out that’s the problem. Here are common workouts that might just be doing you more harm than good. How many of them are you guilty of?
1. Spending Too Much Time On Cardio
Although doing cardio is great for elevating your heart rate, and burning some calories, it’s not a balanced exercise routine, because it doesn’t promote muscle strength and density. To have that you must indulge in equal amount of strength training. It’s preferable to spend 20 mins on the treadmill or cycling and then moving on to some weights for the rest of your time. (IF you’re trying to bulk up, avoid cardio like you would, a sweating bench.)
2. Indulging in Static Stretching
Static stretching; lengthening of a muscle and holding that position for 30 seconds or more — before a workout actually decreases muscle strength. The whole purpose of static stretching is to improve flexibility and cool your body down, and so, is effective after your workout.
To avoid injuries, you should be doing dynamic stretching instead.
3. Seated Hip Abductor Machines
The gyms are full of weight machines that are very convenient to use but especially when it comes to your upper legs, targeting one muscle such as the hamstrings or the quads is misguided and an ineffective method. Skip that long line to the machine and work on lateral lunges or lateral step-ups instead.
4. Seated Chest Fly machine
This machine is meant to work the chest and shoulders, unfortunately, it’s doing more harm than good. The position of the handles and the seat, strains the elbow and shoulder joints and chances are, you’re not flexible enough to complete the full range of motion, further hurting your muscles.
Instead of the machine, try some push-ups and tricep dips.
5. Weighted Side Bends
I realized that trainers at the gym love adding weighted side bends for you, as if to fill up a gap on the wall and it always made me wonder “Why?”. Well, the movement itself is supposed to be working on your oblique’s, to some extent, but the addition of the weights puts unnecessary strain on the spine and inevitably does nothing for your sides.
You can do woodchoppers with a dumbbell instead, or even the crisscross crunches.