Remember, we are training the muscles while at the same time requiring stability and control by our joints and ligaments. However, these last two are the supporters, not the protagonists of the movement
New day, new week, new month and you want to start trying new exercises.
I know that feeling and it’s something you should be proud of.
Curiosity is a powerful tool when finding new ways to challenge ourselves at the gym.
However, it’s been a long time since fitness evolved from that old 80’s Venice Beach California vibe.
We have science!
There are probably new exercises being invented by gym bros every day of the week.
I’m not bashing them, they have good intentions but you must have a little dose of sane skepticism when trying new things.
Here I’ll show you the graveyard of exercises. The realm of those ones waiting to be forgotten.
Of course, each one will include its brief explanation.
The following exercises are:
- Leg extensions
- Behind the neck press
- Upright rows
1. Leg extensions
Yeah, that’s right. Stay the hell away from this machine.
It’s destroying your knee caps by placing too much stress on them.
The compressive forces are slowly but surely deteriorating your precious cartilage and once this guy is lost it’s really hard to recover from unless you go for surgical intervention.
Although this movement it’s really hard to substitute because of its unparalleled mechanic (suspends the hips and loads the legs with a pad, also different from the squat that has a pushing motion), there’s a better option.
Alternative: Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat
2. Behind the neck press
This is one the favorite for old school guys, partly because the nature of the exercise makes it harder to lift the same amount of weight you’d able to lift on a normal military press.
However, here’s the catch: your rotator cuff will have a problem handling the mechanics of this movement.
This guy is designed to help with your posture but not to lift heavy weights.
Once your rotator cuff is no longer able to handle that amount of stress it will either cause you an impingement or something worse.
Alternative: Standing Palms-In Dumbbell Press
3. Upright rows
Whenever I say people that it has to hurt you a little bit I’m expecting most of them to use common sense.
Sadly, it’s not the case with this exercise.
Still being performed at every gym in the world by beginners and somehow old school veterans.
There is an excessive internal rotation force that places extreme forces on the shoulder joint leading to a high risk of tendon and muscular impingement.
Needless to say, your wrists are also compromised.
Alternative: Dumbbell Upright Row (go to min 3:10)
We should always have in mind what are the muscles or areas that we want to be targeting. This shouldn’t be a guessing game.
It’s fairly simple to get a grasp of any exercise by simply trying it with a lighter weight and feeling the impact of it on our body.
Remember, we are training the muscles while at the same time requiring stability and control supported by our joints and ligaments.
However, these last two are supporters, not the protagonists of the movement.
• Leg Extensions are a thing of the past, do them if you are okay with living without knee caps.
• The Behind The Neck exercise places too much weight in the wrong places. There are muscles naturally designed to carry a lot of weight and your rotator cuffs are not one of them.
• Upright Rows lead to a high risk of tendon and muscular impingement due to their excessive internally rotated position.
What are your thoughts about this?
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Have an epic one!
Edward Casanova, fitness coach at ZenFit