Sitting Abdominal Crunch Machine – I don’t know what the official name of this machine is, but it is at every health club. Any machine for whatever muscle group has a limited range of motion based on the design of the machine, and this one is no exception. You are not targeting the abdominal muscles effectively with this piece of equipment. Skip this machine and grab a mat. Doing floor exercises such as abdominal crunches, reverse crunches, or toe reaches, going in a slow and controlled manner, will be a better use of your time to get a flatter stomach.
Lat Pulldown Behind the Head – This isn’t a useless exercise done correctly. Studies have shown that if the exercise is performed pulling the bar behind your head, you could be doing damage to your rotator cuffs. You have to do it absolutely perfect to avoid that, which hardly anyone does. Pull the bar down in front of you and you will get the same benefit for your back, without potential damage to your shoulders.
Side Bends – My wife was complaining about her supposed love handles (my wife sees a different person in the mirror than I do, she is in great shape) and asked if she should do these. They don’t work! All it will do is build the muscle and push your bodyfat out further so that everybody can notice your love handles. That’s not what you want, RIGHT?? The obliques are small muscles and just a little stimulation can really develop them. To eliminate the extra fat around the obliques, watch your diet and burn off your bodyfat with aerobic work. Then utilize the abdominal exercises listed in the exercise above and they will indirectly work your obliques. This will be a far better approach to getting rid of those love handles then doing side bends.
Inner and Outer Thigh Machine – This is one of the most popular exercises for ladies trying to tone up those inner and outer thighs. The waiting line is a mile long for this machine, as women do hundreds of sets and repetitions to achieve the leaner leg. I can’t stand this machine. I wish I had invented it because I would be rich. What people don’t realize is that because of the design of this machine and limited range of motion, you are really only hitting a very small portion of the leg. You should perform lunges and/or squats and eliminate this exercise from your workout. You are much better off hitting your inner and outer thighs during those exercises, then spending the 15 minutes on this machine. Just because everybody is doing it, doesn’t mean it is right. Be brave and challenge yourself with squats and lunges and I guarantee you’ll love the results.
Russian Twists – This is the exercise where an individual is standing with a broomstick on his/her shoulders and the person twists side to side. As a warm-up, this might be alright, but as an exercise to reduce the love handles, no. It doesn’t do anything. See Side Bends to find out how to work the obliques better.
Make efficient and good use of your time when you work out and avoid these exercises like the plague. Use the alternatives that I suggest and get better results faster. These suggestions will ultimately get you to your final goal… A BETTER YOU!!