What, your workout is not working? If you've been working out for some time already and you notice that you don't get the results that you want, you might feel discouraged to the point that you would want to give up already. Don't. The trick is to stay away from least effective exercises, which are listed below. The more effective alternatives are also discussed.
No to Lat Pull-Down Behind the Head
Unless you have the ability to keep your spine straight (something only few people can achieve), it's very easy to do this exercise improperly. Not only is this workout technique ineffective, it's also not safe. It can result in a tear in the rotator cuff, shoulder impingement, or injury to the cervical vertebrae.
Yes to Safer Lat Pull-Down
Instead of that, use this method: on a pull-down machine, lean back slightly, use a wide grip, and pull the bar down in front of your body across the breastbone. Pull your shoulder blades down together. When doing this, don't forget to contract your abdominals. This exercise tones down the upper back muscles efficiently.
No to Behind the Head Military Press
The problems that this exercise move can cause are the same as the ones that the lat pull-down behind the head can cause: a tear in the rotator cuff, shoulder impingement, or injury to the cervical vertebrae.
Yes to Safer Military Press
The safer alternative would be to keep the bar or dumbbells in front of the head. Don't lower the weight below the collar bone. Be sure to keep your upper body upright as well. You can also do this seated. Just sit back straight against a back support, keeping your glutes pressed firmly to the chair.
No to Squats on the Smith Machine
Using this machine can force the body to go into risky positions. Another problem with this is that people are likely to put their feet farther in front of their bodies when doing squats on this machine. This is not only ineffective but can also increase risk of injury in the muscles.
Yes to Regular Squats
Regular squats is the more preferred option. But if your workout calls for use of weights, you can add some dumbbells but ensure a good form. Stand up straight with your feet only shoulder width apart. Lower your body slowly keeping your back straight. Lower the hips as if going to sit on a chair. Bend knees to about 90 degrees. Then slowly go back to your original position.
No to Spot Reduction
It's a widespread mistake for people to do spot reduction exercises. No, there is no way you can strengthen or tone a particular area in the body. Spot exercises can only firm the muscles but if there is an extra layer of fat over the toned muscles, nobody can see that. Fat loss can't be isolated to one part of the body.
Yes to Whole Body Workout
Cardiovascular exercises can help burn calories. But if you want to burn the fat, you also need to undertake resistance training. Boost the production of muscle mass to increase your metabolism.