10 Exercise Moves You Need to Stop Doing

5. Leg Extension Machine

10 Exercise Moves You Need to Stop Doing-Leg Extension Machine-5 (Copy)

Speaking of useless machines, the leg extension machine is quite possibly the most useless and dumbfounding machine found in gyms today. This machine requires you to put your foot under a pad, and then straighten your leg upwards to lift weights. However, when does anyone do this move in daily life? While people believe that it helps to build lean muscle, all the machine really does is cause excess strain on your knee. Plus, since the machine requires you to sit, the rest of your body is deactivated and therefore not getting any benefit. For stronger legs and a stabilized core, simply do lunges or squats and leave the leg extension machine behind.

4. Seated Abductor Machine

Woman at the gym exercising on a machine. Legs and buttocks

Modern gyms are full of giant, meandering machines, and it can often be tempting to use as many as possible. However, many of these machines were designed to help target and strengthen injured muscles. If you’re perfectly healthy, then these machines may be doing more harm than good. The best example is the seated abductor machine. You may remember it as the machine where you place two pads between your inner thighs and then bring them together. While it may seem like an ideal leg workout, it is actually designed to target smaller muscle groups and not the legs as a whole. Instead, simply do squats or lunges to target your entire legs and hips. You will get a much better workout as a result.

3. Crunches

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Crunches with great form can be ok, but they may not get you the six-pack you’re dreaming about. However, crunches with poor form can often lead to serious neck and back strain. Beginners often place their hands behind their head, and instead of utilizing their abs to contract them forward, they pull on their neck and hope that the rest of their body follows. Over time, this can cause damage to the neck while also doing nothing for your abs and core. If you’re going to do crunches, use your core and never pull on your neck.

2. American Kettlebell Swings

10 Exercise Moves You Need to Stop Doing-American Kettlebell Swings-2 (Copy)

A kettlebell swing should end with your arms horizontal to your chest, and they should get there through the thrusting force of your hips. That’s a traditional Russian swing. However, the latest fad found in CrossFit and other programs is the American swing. This swing goes a step further and requires you to raise the kettlebell above your head. While the original swing utilizes your hips and essentially lets the kettlebell guide your arms upwards, this new move requires you to suddenly straighten your back and utilize your arms to bring the kettlebell above your head. The sudden transition between a fluid movement and a jerking one is enough to hurt your back and shoulders. Plus, the move requires you to hold a cannonball above your head as you’re trying to max out, and that should be enough to make this a bad idea.

1. Behind the Head Press

Behind the Head Press

It doesn’t take a scientist to see why behind-the-head exercises are a bad idea. First of all, should you max out; you will have to drop the weight very close to your head and neck. Secondly, even if the exercise is done with a machine, it uses a very awkward motion that can seriously strain your rotator cuffs. Despite all of this, you will find the exercise on numerous workout programs and from young trainers in trendy gyms. To get the same shoulder and triceps benefits without the risk, simply do a military press instead.