5 popular exercises you should never do
What is the main purpose of going to the gym? Lifting weights? Why are you doing a particular exercise?
The reasons can be many and will vary from person to person.
It can be to build strength or increase the size of the muscles or to improve your physique. Or it can be to lose weight, get toned or any other reason that matters to you.
But I don’t think anybody, in their right mind, will be interested in doing any exercise which will not give them even a single one of these benefits. And on top of that, it can serve as a recipe for injury.
Will you be interested in doing any such exercises? The answer will be a unanimous NO.
But still, there are many exercises people do which give them no benefits at all. Plus, it adds unnecessary stress on the joints.
In this article, we will list five upper body exercises which should never be a part of your workout routine.
1. Behind the neck Lat Pulldown
Lat Pulldown is a good exercise to train the back muscles (Latissimus Dorsi). But a bad variation of this exercise will be to do behind-the-neck lat pulldown.
A 2009 study, comparing lat pulldown with behind-the-neck lat pulldown, found that the muscle activation was more in lat pulldown.
So, there is no particular benefit in doing behind-the-neck variation.
The rotator cuff muscles are small stabilizer muscles which keep the shoulder joints stable.Behind-the-neck position puts the shoulder joints in a very vulnerable position. There is a lot of stress on the rotator cuff muscles when the shoulders are externally rotated to its limit.
So basically, no additional benefits with an increased risk of injury. Stick with the lat pulldown.
2. Behind the Neck Shoulder Press
The shoulder joint is a highly mobile but very unstable joint. Behind-the-neck shoulder press is a bad exercise for reasons similar to behind-the-neck lat pulldown. During behind-the-neck shoulder press, the shoulders joints are stretched to its end limit.
Now, adding weight on this already stretched shoulder joints will put your rotator cuff muscles in a very compromised position.
Also, this position will not allow you to lift the kind of weights your shoulders are capable of lifting. Thus, sacrificing the weights and gaining nothing in exchange. This is a loser’s deal.
Shoulder Press is a safer and far better exercise than doing a behind-the-neck shoulder press.
3. Upright Rows
This is one of the worst exercises which is very popular for all the wrong reasons.
It’s a movement where you hold the bar in front of your body and pull the bar vertically up till the neck or face height. This exercise is done for upper back and shoulders. Upright row is a very inefficient movement to train both the muscle groups.
Thus, there are no benefits of performing this movement.
In this movement, your arms are internally rotated which puts the rotator cuff muscles in a stretched position. You are lifting the weight up with this internally rotated arm. This creates elevation along with internal rotation.
A perfect combination to risk yourself of shoulder impingement or other types of shoulder injuries.
4. Wrist Curls
Wrist curls are done for training the forearms. First, let’s get one thing straight.
Wrist curls are the most inefficient way to train your forearms and a good way to wreck your wrist joint.
Your forearm muscles are very powerful. They are capable of handling way more weight than you can lift using this exercise. It’s like using a crane to lift a bucket of water. Ridiculous, right?
So giving a meagre amount of resistance to the muscles which can take a ton of load is in no way going to get you stronger forearms.
If you want to know how to efficiently train your forearm muscle Read this article.
5. Bench Dips
This is a popular exercise for triceps which puts your shoulder more at risk than building your triceps.
It’s done by placing the hands flat on one bench and the feet on another bench.
When you go down from the initial position your shoulders will drive forward putting a lot of stress and strain on the shoulders.
Doing this exercise makes no sense as you have better alternatives to build bigger triceps.
No Pain No Gain – Don’t take it literally.
So, unless you want lots of pain without any gain, don’t waste your time and energy doing these exercises.