As a personal trainer, I'm often asked: "What are the best and worst exercises to include in my workout routine?" Unfortunately, the answers aren't as simple as you might expect, because if you ask 10 fitness experts that question, you'll be met with 10 different answers. Although there are some exercises I like more than others based on personal preference and how they challenge the body, it doesn't mean my answers are the only "right" ones. Experts have varying opinions about the most effective way to train the body.|
It's tempting to read the latest issue of your favorite fitness magazine and jump on the exercise bandwagon. When the headlines say, "The Best Way to Improve Endurance?
What makes an exercise "good" or "bad" is often a matter of personal opinion. But, in general, a good exercise has a low risk of injury, is easy to perform correctly and effectively targets the muscles you're trying to develop. As you work to create the best exercise program for you and your goals, consider going against the grain a bit by ignoring some of the most
Overrated Exercises and Their Effective Alternatives
1. Deadlifts and Squats
Personal trainer Jasper Yao believes deadlifts and squats get more credit than they should. "Everyone suggests them when it comes to building a foundation
2. Dumbbell Chest Fly
3. Barbell Bench
Although barbell bench presses are a popular exercise to gain strength in the upper body, Caleb
Fitness expert and writer Kelly Crawford says that if you want to strengthen your abdominal muscles, sit-ups aren't the way to go. "Everyone does sit-ups to tone the abdominal muscles, but the work is done mostly in the first part of the movement until your hip flexors take over and pull you up into a sitting position," she explains. "This creates a force in your spine, which is unnatural and can lead to injury." Instead of sit-ups and crunches, try exercises that require total body stabilization, which more closely mimics how your abdominals function in everyday life. Examples include
As a substitution, Johnson recommends replacing the jump at the end of a
Underrated Exercises to Add to Your Routine
1. The Farmer's Carry
Shane McLean, a personal trainer and fitness blogger,
2. Bodyweight Exercises
Tyler Spraul, head trainer at Exercise.com, says it's important not to discount the importance of bodyweight exercises. "It may not be as glamorous as benching the heaviest dumbbells or loading the barbell with
Can walking give you the results you're looking for? Crawford thinks so. "[Brisk] walking has many of the same benefits as running—including improved cardiovascular health—but puts less stress on your body. Walking is easily accessible, but many people shun it and feel they need to be working harder all the time." Crawford advises that it's good to have active recovery days in your workout routine and brisk walking can be a perfect option to help your muscles recover in a gentle way.
Johnson says swimming is one exercise that people often overlook. "Even if you are not an avid or trained swimmer, beginning to do laps on a semi-regular basis can help you in so many ways. Swimming is low impact, and as long as you are using some basic technique, the risk of injury is low." He goes on to say that a regular swimming routine can help your lung capacity, effectively amplifying your other, more intense workouts or sports. "Because you are pushing and pulling through water, you are getting a great moderate-resistance exercise that can tone your muscles and work your core," Johnson adds.
5. Jumping Rope
According to Reggie Chambers, a fitness expert and personal trainer, there is one underrated piece of equipment that can cost you less than $10. "The good old jump rope is portable and requires no gym membership," Chambers says about one of his favorite cardio "machines." "Even if you are a novice, no matter how you go about it, jumping rope burns fat and torches calories like nobody’s business! It also gives your brain a workout since you are constantly focusing on coordination and rhythm."
In general, the best exercises are the ones that challenge your body, give you the results you're looking for and are enjoyable. After all, when you like what you're doing, you're much more likely to stick with it! Changing up your routine regularly helps improve your fitness level, gives you better results and keeps things interesting. Just because the rest of the gym is doing the same exercises that may or may not be effective doesn't mean you shouldn't branch out and try something new.