Avoid These Dangerous and Unnecessary Workouts
Most of us toil away in the gym every week in the attempt to get fit and stay that way. And many a time we kick ourselves because of something we did at the gym that puts a stop to working out for a while: The time when you had that extra enthusiasm and pushed yourself too far; or the time when you tried that new workout without thinking of the consequences. Or maybe week after week, you feel you are stuck in the same endless rut. Some workouts that are really worthless can do that to you, and some exercises out there are just plain dangerous. Here are some of the more common ones.
1) Expensive, hi- tech workouts
While working out on hi tech machines may neither be dangerous nor completely worthless, they may not always be necessary. Why join a fancy gym and spend a lot of money because they have high tech gizmos when you can do the same workouts, more effectively, just using barbells and dumbbells? Why spend so much money buying a treadmill when you can go for a walk or a run, around your neighbourhood or a nearby maidan?
While I agree that a complete novice may benefit from using machines, most people who are already used to working out can easily learn good form and technique from a trainer and get started on their own with simpler equipment. Of course, good form is key; there is no substitute for good form. But free-hand exercises with good form is almost always more effective than fancy equipment.
2) Strength training with poor form
Which brings me to the next point. Poor form. This one is truly dangerous, as not only will it not give you the desired results but over time it can result in injury or strain. Most of the time, the reason for poor form may be too much weight. Many times people in their bravado and new found zeal for working out, increase weights faster than their body can take it and this results in the rounding of the back while doing dead lifts or arching of the back under shoulder presses. Using poor form puts tremendous strain on your joints. Lift what you reasonably can while using proper form. If you’re jerking, arching, or straining unnaturally, go for a lighter load and get a trainer to give you some tips.
3) Most ab exercises
Again, these are mostly worthless if your only aim is weight loss. If you want to get rid of the belly fat and do 200 ab exercises a day, it’s not going to work. Instead, think core. Core is your entire back and abdomen muscles, and there is a plethora of ways to work these, apart from doing crunches. Yoga and pilates really help with your core. Basic core work like Planks are also very useful. Working on your core involves how you spend your day. The more active you are, the better posture you have, the more strength your core will gain.
4) Spot training for weight loss
If you have a particular problem area and you are trying spot exercises to get rid of that layer of fat, then you are in for some disappointment. In order to get rid of the fat, you will have to do workouts that burn fat overall, build core strength, and most important, take care of your diet.
5) Working out one muscle group at a time
To build strength and burn fat, you need to workouts that take care of more muscle groups than one, and increase metabolism. Using machines that facilitate the muscle building of one arm or one muscle in the leg will probably get you results, but the faster and easier option is doing functional exercises that build strength. Mixing up workouts is the key to keep workouts interesting and challenging.
So here are some of the common mistakes made by people who spend a lot of time at the gym. Avoid these dangerous and unncecessary workouts and go for more natural movements instead.
Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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