5 Exercises Not To Do

Before we get to the exercises, a quick weekend update…

On Saturday, 45 of my friends, family, and EarlyToRise.com team members visited three Wal-Marts in Denver where we were able to buy $60,065 worth of toys in our Toys for Tots drive.

Thank YOU for supporting TT so that we could support Toys for Tots.

Here’s Bedros Keuilian standing in front of the flatbed truck that our group filled. Next year we’re going for $100,000.

And here’s a funny photo of Bedros’ daughter and I at dinner.

And NOW on with the exercise show…

Just last week I received an email from my editor at Men’s Health where he asked:

“What are five exercises that trainers hate, and what smart replacements are for each?”

My answers on the Five Exercises Not to Do:

1) Situps or crunches

Why: These are terrible for the low back/spine, as shown by research from Dr. Stuart McGill. These exercises compress the discs in your spine and can cause serious low back injuries.

Alternatives: Stability Ball or Power Wheel Rollout, TRX Mountain Climbers, Plank or Bodysaw/Rocking Plank, or Stability Ball Plank (30% harder on your abs than a regular plank)

2) Broomstick Twists

Why? Useless. Just useless.

Alternative: Cross body mountain climbers, spiderman climbs, side plank (with TRX)

3) Leg Extensions

Why? Possibly dangerous for knee, but more important, these are inefficient for everyone but pro bodybuilders

Alternatives: Split Squats, Forward lunges, Narrow-Stance Barbell Squat, Goblet Squat

4) Behind the Neck Pulldown or Presses

Why? Likely dangerous for rotator cuff and also leads to terrible form where people strain neck forward and contort themselves just to do the movement. Just NOT worth it.

Alternative: Pullup, TRX row, V-grip pulldown to chest, db row

5) “Bodybuilder bench press” – with elbows out and bringing bar down close to neck

Why? Terrible for the shoulder joint and rotator cuff

Alternatives: Barbell bench brought to bottom of pecs with elbows tucked into sides, DB chest presses (all varieties), TRX or Ring Pushups

BONUS: Long slow cardio – Why? Ineffective and a waste of time

Alternative: Intervals, metabolic conditioning, bodyweight circuits, burpees

You just don’t have to exercise for a long time. You can get amazing results with short, BURST workouts.

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Hope that helps,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer