Exercise has been touted as a healthy activity for over 50 years now and any individual who aspires to be Extremely Healthy knows that it something that must be added to their lifestyle.
People spend countless hours and dollars on gym memberships, exercise equipment, and at-home videos in the pursuit of that “perfect body”. Despite the billions of dollars spent annually in the United States on this industry, the majority of the people that exercise never obtain the results that they desire.
Maybe this is you? You have or do exercise religiously and can’t seem to break through that weight loss plateau. Sure, you can lose a little weight or an inch or two, but the body that you truly desire always seems out of reach.
I want to guide you in the right direction so you can see the results you desire!
Did you know that all exercise is not created equal? The truth is that there is some exercises that is not only a “waste of your time” but are actually hurting your body and weight loss efforts. These exercises falsely give you a sense of accomplishment but never actually stimulate the “FAT” loss that you desire.
If you desire is to lose FAT then you must avoid these 7 exercises:
- Seated Knee Squeezes (Adduction) on a machine
- Seated Leg Spreads (Abduction) on a machine
- Machine Hip Extensions
- Seated Biceps Preacher Curls
- Leg Curls
- Recumbent Bike
I know, these are probably the very exercises that you preform but let me explain why these are wasting your time.
Seated Knee Squeezes (Adduction)
This is when you are seated on the machine and you are squeezing your legs together to work your “inner thighs”. From a functional point of view this exercise makes no sense and your body views it as unnatural.
Your aDductors are used to bring your legs together during your normal gait cycle (walking). In addition, they are used with flexing your hip and knee and during activities such as: walking, hiking, running, climbing, standing from a seated position and other stable standing positions.
As you see, you utilize these muscles when you STAND! Also, you never use these muscles by themselves, they are always used with other muscles. This is very important to understand because if you do not train your body in the way that it actually works it will not respond by getting leaner. And getting leaner is the whole reason for doing the exercise in the first place.
Seated Leg Spreads (Abduction)
Works similar to the Knee Squeezes except this time you are spreading your legs. Again, this exercise from a functional stand point makes very little sense considering there is not a single activity that requires you to forcefully spread your legs in a seated position.
This exercise also restricts motion to a single joint, which is foreign to the body, and puts unnecessary strain on your hip joint, pulls on your groin, and forces your body to guard itself. The only real thing that this exercise creates is pain and your body will not respond appropriately to it and again you will not get leaner.
Shrugs- Barbell or Dumbbell
I know this is a favorite for many guys out there but I really don’t see the purpose of this exercise when it comes to losing fat. The reality is that most people do it incorrectly by not using the full range of motion and plus you only use one joint again.
In addition, why would you want to tighten the part of your body which is probably too tight to start off with? I see patients in my office all day long with neck and upper back pain and tightness who are there for relief. Shrugs simply engage that very mechanism and make your neck and shoulders tighter. This impedes the nerve flow and decreases the information to your muscles.
If you want strong shoulders you should do a 3 position shoulder stabilization exercise that utilizes multiple muscles and strengthens the functional component of your shoulder girdle. Again, if you train for function your body will respond and you will get leaner.
Machine Hip Extensions
This is where you are standing and you push your leg straight out behind you. Otherwise know as “The Donkey Kick Exercise”. And unless you are a donkey this exercise does not make sense functionally.
A few exceptions are if you are:
- A professional gymnast
- A professional ballerina
- A professional figure skater
- A professional dancer
Most people, however, are not any of these and therefore do not need to do an exercise like this. This exercise also puts unnecessary loads on your back that could result in injury. Nothing will prevent you from losing fat faster than hurting your back!
Seated Bicep Preacher Curls
This is a terribly unnatural position for the shoulder girdle. Your body is begging to get out of this position, as your rotator cuff is pulled forward and your shoulder presses on the capsule and stretches it out. (ouch!)
The message to your brain from your shoulder joint: “Stop it. Whatever you do, don’t dislocate me.”
So, your brain responds and turns the muscle signal intensity down. You lose some of your strength, but the set goes on. Meanwhile, you’re bent over, straining your low back and not using your core to lift a heavy weight with your hand.
That would never happen. If you had to pick up a heavy grocery bag and place it on the counter, you’d feel your abs contract. When you press your abs against a surface and curl, you’re isolating just your biceps, and training it in a completely non-functional way.
It’s possible to see visible results with this exercise… if you want to do it for 30 minutes/workout, instead of hitting your whole body.
This exercise can actually be very dangerous depending on your position plus it is terrible for fat loss. When you lay on your stomach and bring your feet to your butt with weight on your ankle your are putting enormous strain on your lower back.
Your back has a built in safely belt in the form of your core muscles. When you naturally bend your spine pressure is loaded to your low back joints, these muscles stabilize your spine to prevent injury. During a Leg Curl exercise you are unable to engage those muscles and therefore your spine is unprotected during the movement.
Again, from a functional view point this exercise make very little sense. How often to you need to kick yourself in the butt while laying on your belly? Sounds silly doesn’t it?
Although this is not necessarily a terrible exercise it is very ineffective for losing fat. The main problem with this exercise is that it puts very little demand on your muscles and therefore stimulates very little fat burn.
One of the reasons people use this exercise is because they have “bad” knees or hips. The reality is, however, you can find other low resistance type exercises that you could preform that would create the fat burn you desire. Spending 45- 60 minutes on this machine will not help you lose the weight you desire and therefore a waste of your time.
The purpose of this article was not to discourage you from working out but instead help you “Jump Start” your weight loss goals by identifying exercises that you may be wasting your time on. Regardless of what others in a gym are doing (most are amateurs) or even what a personal trainer may have taught you, these exercises will not help you get the body you desire.
If you want to learn how to exercise to stimulate fat loss please visit my blog at www.DrTunisJr.com and download my FREE Report “How to Exercise to Maximize Fat Burn”.
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About the Author: Dr Tunis Hunt Jr is a wellness physician serving the Charlotte area. In addition to administering chiropractic care, Dr. Hunt lectures and educates the public on nutrition and health based information. To reach Dr. Hunt for questions and comments or to schedule him to speak to your group or company please call 704-588-1792 or email him at drtunisjr@HuntForWellness.com. www.HuntForWellness.com