Don’t even think about it
As a fitness company we tell you a lot about what you should do; dieting, workouts, mindsets, supplements – we’re constantly putting out information. However, we felt that it was our responsibility to tell you what you shouldn’t do.
In the modern internet age of information – it’s easy for foul practices to gain popularity. It’s harder and harder to vet where advice originally came from. If enough people seem to endorse it, it becomes solid advice. But not all exercises are created equal. These are the 4 exercises you should stop doing, now!
1. Behind-the-Neck Shoulder Press
Behind the neck shoulder presses are good at stimulating the deltoids, especially the anterior delts. The problem with the exercise is the wear and tear it puts on your joints is not worth the muscle benefits.
The movement of this exercise puts your shoulders in an extreme external and horizontal abduction which puts the movement at the very end of range of motion for the shoulder joint. In this case, the pain is not worth the gain.
2. Barbell Upright Rows
Just like the behind the neck presses, the barbell upright rows also do a good job at activating the upper traps and medial muscles. However, they also do a good job at aggravating the shoulder tendon (rotator cuff). This can lead to shoulder impingement syndrome (SIS). Unless you don’t value your joints and tendons, this one is another no no.
3. Shrugs with Shoulder Roll
The main function of your upper traps is to raise your shoulders; so it only makes sense that doing shrugs with heavyweights will get your traps looking like the hulk. We’re good there. The problem comes in when you roll the shoulders. Rolling your shoulders at the top of a shrug actually takes the force anterior, moving off the intended target. So not only does it look stupid, it does nothing for you physically as well. This one is a no brainer, literally.
4. Twisting Sit-ups
While we’re not vilifying sit-ups here, the reality is any sort of crunch or sit-up rounds your lumbar spine forward which is called a flexion. A flexion puts an extreme amount of pressure on the lumbar discs.
The only thing worse than a flexion is a flexion with rotation which is exactly what you’re doing with a twisting sit-up. This not only brings pressure to the jelly like center of your lumbar disc, but pushes the discs in a less than ideal position which is where herniated discs tend to happen.
These are the 4 exercises you should either stop doing or modify right now; not because they don’t build muscle but because you can find more efficient ways of building without injury. Common wisdom isn’t alway so wise and as builders we have to learn to question everything. Next time you’re in the gym and see a fellow fitness freak putting himself in harms way, you now have the knowledge and the tools to help a brotha (or sista) out!