Exercising and making time to work out is already hard enough. And so, it’s only right to ensure that those exercises are truly making a huge difference in your body and health.
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In a nutshell:
To maximize your workout sessions, let’s review the 10 exercises that are only a waste of your precious time–and what you should perform instead. Most gym-goers perform side bends like no tomorrow because they believe these exercises tighten the waste and reduce muffin top fat. Also known as the Farmer’s Carry, this powerhouse exercise involves holding a weight in both hands and walking for a time or distance. It targets your whole body, strengthening all muscle groups including biceps, triceps, shoulders, upper back, hamstrings, obliques, and so much more. Dumbbell squats work to strengthen your core and lower body. Thanks to the weight from a pair of dumbbells, it boosts the activation in your posterior chain muscles, such as the hamstrings and gluteus maximus. Additionally, these exercises activate the stabilizing muscles around your knees and ankles. This good old favorite is another exercise that you should stay away from if you don’t want to waste your time.
Whereas the dumbbell kickback provides little triceps tension at the beginning, the cable lets the lateral head engage right away in that same position. With leg presses, the stabilizer muscles aren’t activated. The machine stabilizes you to the extent that you aren’t turning on the muscles utilized during dumbbell squats or other weighted squats. The goblet squat is a wonderful full-body exercise that builds muscle, particularly in the legs, core, and glutes. However, it turns out that basic crunches aren’t the most efficient nor the healthiest way of building a strong core. Moreover, research has shown that crunch is less effective at activating muscle fiber than exercises that require the stabilization of the spine, such as planks. Although crunches and planks are two entirely different exercises, both strengthen your abs. That said, planks target several muscles while crunches only target your abs. Moreover, planks stimulate more muscles in the core than crunches do. The lying leg curl machine exercise is another waste of time simply because it stops your core from getting engaged. So, why perform this when you can do other much more effective exercises, say, the single-leg deadlift? There are lots of glute exercises you can do, just not using the hip abduction machine. This machine is designed to target the small muscles in the hips, otherwise known as abductors. Unfortunately, this movement isn’t nearly as effective as other glute exercises that also activate the same muscles. The bench dip is not a great mass gaining exercise nor is it good for the shoulders. In essence, you’re moving your shoulder in a bad position and allowing it to carry the load of your body weight.
So, instead of taking up a bench that others could use to lift actual weights, try other exercises such as the triceps pushdown. With strong triceps, you can lift more weight and build more strength to other arm muscle groups. For building upper body strength, it’s one of the least effective exercises as it can strain your neck and shoulder muscles. For a safer and much more effective exercise, try the dumbbell Arnold press. This exercise doesn’t just work the anterior deltoids but also the lateral and posterior along with the stabilizer muscles. Lastly, there’s the bicep curl machine, another not-so-good exercise that you should not add to your workout routine. For starters, it doesn’t allow for the full range of motion that an actual bicep curl with weight provides. Alternative: Bicep Curls Do those alternative exercises instead to get the most out of your time and effort.
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