Ugh. I have a Love-Hate relationship with my local gym. I love going in there… it’s been my home gym since I started lifting back in 1992.
Some of the machines, weight plates, and dumbbells (and many of the people and staff!) are the same as when I first walked in as a know-nothing-know-it-all skinny 16-year old.
So much has changed, so much remains the same. So much nostalgia… but I’ll save those stories for another day… like the day I did my first chest workout and could barely lift my arms up to the steering wheel in my ol’ Ford Topaz to drive home. Ha!
Today we have more important things to talk about… like 3 dangerous exercises that I still see people do in the gym after all these years. That’s what I hate about going to the gym. Some of these poor folks are even exercising with a trainer and paying money to be given BAD advice. It’s so frustrating.
Here’s what you MUST avoid:
1) Any exercise where you round your low back.
This includes sit-ups, bent over rows, deadlifts, and even picking up dumbbells off the floor with bad form, like this:
Keep your low back stiff in a neutral position (or even slightly arched). This protects your spine and low back muscles. And it works your abs as an extra bonus.
2) Bench Dips (with your arms behind you)
As my friend and physiotherapist Bill Hartman says, “This exercise causes impingement of the rotator cuff. This doesn’t even consider the stress on the AC joint. It’s also a bad exercise for overloading the muscles.”
Avoid this move. Use close-grip pushups instead. You’ll work more muscles, including your chest, shoulders (safely!), and your abs.
3) Russian Twists
You must avoid any exercise where you flex and rotate your spine. Both of those moves are unsafe for your low back, especially when you add external resistance.
Sorry, but Russian Twists should be banished to Siberia!
I strongly encourage you to read my groundbreaking article here:
It shows you 10 exercises that you should NEVER do. It includes pictures. It explains in detail why you must avoid each one.
You will save so much time, energy, and headache once you give up those moves for good. (They aren’t doing you any good anyways.)
But now that you’ve removed these exercises from your routine, you might be thinking, “Well Craig, what the heck CAN I do? Are there any approved exercises?”
You bet. In fact, if you use these 3 simple bodyweight exercises you’ll get a fast, fat-burning boost that you can use up to three times per week.
We’ll go “up-down-up” to work one set of muscles while the other set of muscles rests, all while your fat burning hormones skyrocket along with your heart rate.
You’ll boost your belly-fat torching metabolism and improve your fitness at the same time, all without bad exercises or boring cardio.
The Three-Exercise Morning Metabolism Booster
1) Total Body Extensions
2) *The Toughest Pushup You Can Do
3) Narrow-Stance Bodyweight Squats
– Do each exercise for 60 seconds.
– Do not rest between exercises.
– Repeat the circuit one more time for a 6-Minute Morning Scorcher!
*For pushups: If you are advanced, try Spiderman Pushups. Intermediate fitness levels can try Decline Pushups or Close-Grip Pushups. Beginners can do Regular Pushups or Kneeling Pushups.
And if you need to take a 5-second break in any exercise, that’s fine, too.
Just do the best you can, with perfect form, for those minute intervals and you’ll get a rocking great workout – no equipment required.
No need to visit your local gym… unless you’re going for the memories, like me!
Speaking of which, it’s time for me to return to the local gym to use the old bench press and pull-up bars. Hopefully I’ll be able to drive home. Otherwise I might have to call ol’ Bally the Dog for a ride. ☺
To your health and safety and results,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS – MORE for you!
Increase in Discipline. Decrease in Destruction. Everyday you must get a little better than yesterday. Plan, prepare, & just get started.
Once you overcome the initial inertia you’ll make big progress on your #1 priority. Don’t procrastinate a moment more.
The world will conspire against you. Everyone wants to hold you down. No one wants to see you succeed. Prepare for this.
Hope for the best. Expect the worst. And you will win at reality.
Stay strong and have an amazing week.
I believe in YOU.