8 Most Useless Workouts Ever
Do you take your workouts seriously? Do you have limited time? Do you want to be safe while training? If you answered “yes” to any of the preceding questions, then consider the following. Some exercises, even those that are considered “classic,” simply aren’t worth the time they require and may even be dangerous.
Read on to find out why each of the following exercises can be replaced by a technique that is far more effective and far safer.
1. Crunches on the Floor
Why they’re useless
Traditional crunches aren’t very dynamic because they target only a small group of muscles. What’s worse, crunches can cause serious damage, particularly to the discs in your spine. According to some studies, the stress put on the discs during a crunch is enough to cause herniation (disc rupture).
In fact, crunches put a load on the spine that would never be allowed on the job. Finally, crunches get less effective as your physical condition improves, which means you need to do more of them to get the same benefit. Unfortunately, that also means you have to put more stress on your spine.
If you want great abs, the basic plank is actually one of the best abdominal exercises you can do. It offers a more natural alternative to the crunch and doesn’t stress the spine. To do a plank, put your toes and forearms on the floor with your butt pointing up and your body straight.
The key is to tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominal muscles to keep your butt from sticking up. Hold for 60 seconds and repeat 3-5 times. It sounds easy, but it isn’t.
The basic plank will only get you so far though. For advanced abdominal exercises, consider cable torso twists, the woodchopper, side planks, stability ball planks, and medicine ball side throws. Don’t forget that you should always strike a balance when working out, so remember to strengthen your back muscles along with your abs.