A huge part of a healthy lifestyle is staying in shape. The benefits to your body and mind are many but it takes discipline, and you have to make it a priority.
With all the demands of daily living, it can be difficult, so when you take time out of your day to devote to your health, the last thing you want to do is waste your time.
Don’t let your workouts fall flat, make them count!
To help you, we’ve compiled a list of common exercises that may not be worth the time taken out of your day — try to avoid them and find alternatives that will get you seeing the results you want.
Tricep Dips or Bench Dips – You may feel the burn when doing these, but it is a lot of effort for something that can be accomplished faster and more effectively by doing other tricep exercises like pushups, which will engage your triceps more than any other tricep exercise.
Regular Crunches – Doing regular crunches on the floor will take a long time before you start to see results. Not only do you not have enough resistance doing regular floor crunches, but it only works a few of your core muscles.
If you are looking to see better results, try mixing your crunches up by using a balance ball, which will help actively engage all of your core muscles. You can also try bicycle crunches or planks.
Sit ups are actually a more effective ab workout because they work a lot more of your core muscles than crunches do.
Light Dumbbell Exercises – You know those 2-5lb little hand weights that are used to do the tricep push and bicep curl? Honestly, if you are using those feather-light dumbbells, you may as well not be using any weights at all. 8-10lbs should be a starting point as you work your way to higher weights.
You would have to do way too many sets and reps for way too long to even begin to see the benefits of using weights that light.
Leg Press – The leg press only targets a single muscle group in the upper legs, but they are not muscles you use for daily activities. The leg press is a worthless workout.
If you want to develop strength and endurance in your leg muscles try doing lunges instead because they engage all of the muscles in your legs with the added bonus of working out your core muscles as well.
Weighted Side Bend – Many people think that this exercise will shrink their love handles, but it doesn’t. It actually is meant to target your oblique muscles which is important for your core, but the weighted side bend is a worthless workout.
There are so many more effective alternatives to target that specific muscle group — try squats and twisting bicycle crunches instead.
Seated Hip Abduction/Abduction Machine – This machine focuses on hip flexors, but most people use it for their inner and outer thighs. This might be the most worthless workout out of them all.
While you will eventually feel a slight burn, the problem is that you are only targeting one specific muscle, and a small one at that, so it ends up being pretty ineffective. Squats and lunges will get much further.
There is no greater feeling than setting goals for yourself and accomplishing those goals. If you want to get in shape and live a healthy life, establishing a routine for yourself full of workouts that you can maintain is vital.
Making sure that those exercises are efficient is the secret to balancing your health and wellbeing with a busy lifestyle, whether you work in an office or as a commercial driver who needs to stay in shape for their Driver Physicals appointment.
Anna Donato is a freelance writer and professional student who offers articles and insights into the complexities of modern living and the challenges faced by the self-employed.