March 26, 2021

4 Stupid Exercises You Should STOP Now

stupid exercises

Standing Dumbbell Rotations

On the list of all-time stupid exercises, this one is right up there. How many times have you seen people “warming-up” their rotator cuff in front of the dumbbell rack by flapping their arms in and out with 10-pound weights? Unfortunately, I have seen this much more than I would like. This is not a dangerous exercise, but it is a colossal waste of time. People do it this way so often because of a fundamental misunderstanding of which muscles are worked here. The rotator cuff muscles are what people are trying to target here. In reality, however, the biceps are being isometrically worked when internal and external rotations at the shoulder are done in standing with a dumbbell. To do these exercises correctly, you have to be either lying on your side with a weight or standing and using a cable machine and/or TheraBand. Don’t get caught looking like a noob. Nix these from your warmup.

stupid exercises

Narrow Grip Upright Row

I like to call narrow grip upright rows impingement rows. This is one of those gym exercises that keeps me in business as a Physical Therapist. The exercise itself is intended to work the deltoids, trapezius, rhomboids, and biceps. The primary problem with this exercise is that it puts the shoulder joint and muscles of the rotator cuff in a tight and compromised position. Coupled with the added weight of a barbell or dumbbell, it becomes a recipe for injury. The upright row is not a bad exercise at its core, however. The vast majority of people do not have the shoulder mobility or strength to do this correctly. To do this exercise right, widen the grip to about shoulder-width apart. This will lessen the tightness at the joint for most people. Also, start with a very light weight and slowly work your way up over time.

Behind the Neck Shoulder press and Pulldown

Behind the neck shoulder, press and Lat pulldowns are another example of a good exercise gone awry. Like the upright row above, most people will not have the shoulder mobility or strength available to do behind the neck presses and pulls safely. A lot of weight is used for both movements, and when you combine heavy weights with tight joints and muscles, you are asking for injury. All the benefits these exercises bring to the table can be attained when done to the front instead. Additionally, try barbell shoulder presses standing up instead. This will help with balance and stability. And you won’t’ have to use as much weight to attain better results.

stupid exercises

Bosu/Physio Ball Bullshit

Let’s discuss the king of stupid exercises. Leave Bosu and Physio Balls to Rehabilitation professionals. Most people are just wasting valuable gym time with these exercises. At worst, they are dangerous. At best, you dicked around for 10 minutes when you could have been doing something else that actually works. 95% of people would see far superior gains from doing good, old-fashioned, “boring” compound exercises. Compound lifts actually make you stronger and more muscular. This contributes to balance better than any garbage Bosu/Physio ball exercise ever could. When done with two feet on the ground, squats are one of the best exercises you can do for strength and size. Next time your trainer tells you to climb aboard one of these balls with weights in your hands, tell them to pound sand.

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