5 Exercises and Gym Machines To Skip — and How to Work the Same Major Muscles

Angela Jenkins

| 3 min read

Fitness is always changing, with certain workouts gaining in popularity while other moves or equipment fall out of favor. Figuring out what the best workouts are can be a successful part of a person’s workout regime. But as fitness trends evolve, some exercises aren’t as effective as we once thought.

Avoid These

I started to think back about when I started to exercise on my own. It was around my freshman year in high school that my bestie and I bought memberships to our local YMCA. Here are some of the gym machines and exercises I used to do then that I don’t recommend now:
  • Overhead Extensions to work the triceps (the muscle in the back of your upper arm): This particular exercise doesn’t work the triceps as hard as you would want for an exercise.
  • Hip Abduction/Adduction Machine to work your hips and inner thigh muscles (called adductor muscles): This is not a natural movement by the body. One of the main purpose of these muscles is to stabilize us when standing or during movement.
  • Seated Torso Rotation Machine to work your abdominals and core: This is a good exercise to tone your abs but you take the risk of hurting your spine. This exercise forces the hips to stay stationary in what could result in injury.
  • Leg Extension Machine to work quadriceps, or the tops of your thighs: This machine is risky because the weight is on one end, forcing the body to make an unnatural movement by pushing the weight upwards, putting a lot of strain on the knees.
  • Wall Squats with an Exercise Ball to work the gluteus maximums or bum — but not very effectively. The ball resting against the wall takes all of the work away from the booty.

Try These Instead

Luckily there are lots of alternative exercises to choose from to work the same muscles. Consider these:
  • Triceps: Incline pushups and bench dips (form is important here with elbows staying close to the ribs for each of these moves)
  • Hip/Adductor Muscles: Leg lifts for both inner and outer thigh muscles. You can add a resistance band or leg weights when you need more of a challenge.
  • Abs/Core: Plank exercises are my favorite way to tone up the midsection. Be sure to include side planks to work all the abdominal muscles.
  • Quadriceps: Squats and lunges of all variations work the quads as well as other major muscles like the gluteus maximums, or booty.
  • Gluteus Maximums: I like wall squats and goblet squats to work my booty. Goblet squats are adding a dumbbell to your squat. Hold the ends of the weight in both hands and lift the weight over your head while you squat down. Remember to keep the weight in your heels and not your toes.
Do you have a favorite exercise that needed a makeover? If so, share what the old exercise is and what you replaced it with.
Resource: Shape Magazine
Photo credit: Shakeskc

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