This Month In Body
  • Better Off Without
    Since your time is valuable, you can’t afford to spend it on exercises that don’t provide the results you’re looking for. As you decide which exercises to focus on during your workouts, here are a few things to skip in your routine. But don’t worry—by cutting these out, you won’t be missing anything but ineffective exercises with a high potential for injury. Read >>
  • Best Friend Accountability
    Maybe your dog needs to lose weight, and maybe not. But you just might. Take advantage of having a dog by using it to help you lose weight. You’ll both benefit and grow closer in the process. Read >>
  • Why Walk?
    You may not think of walking as a way to get in shape, lose weight, and protect your heart, but it’s actually one of the best exercises you can do. While walking may seem boring or tedious to some people, it’s definitely a great place to start getting in shape and maintaining your good health. Read >>
  • Use It To Lose It
    Despite their popularity, fitness trackers may not be as helpful as once thought. Current studies show that traditional weight-loss methods without the use of technology can be just as effective, if not more so. But don’t let that cause you to put your fitness tracker aside. Instead, take full advantage of it and remember a few things for the best chance at meeting your goals. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Better Off Without

Avoid these workouts and you won’t be missing out on anything.

Some exercises have stood the test of time. You can’t go wrong with a workout that includes walking, swimming, or cycling. Other workouts, on the other hand, have proven to be a waste of time or put you at risk for injury. Since your time is valuable, you can’t afford to spend it on exercises that don’t provide the results you’re looking for.

As you decide which exercises to focus on during your workouts, here are a few things to skip in your routine. But don’t worry—by cutting these out, you won’t be missing anything but ineffective exercises with a high potential for injury.

Long Workouts

The more you exercise, the faster you lose weight, right? Not necessarily. When your workouts consistently last longer than an hour, you may be doing your body more harm than good. Over-exercising can lead to fatigue, muscle loss, injury, a slowed metabolism, burnout, and possibly disease.

Listen to your body and get rest between strenuous workouts. If you’re aiming to lose weight, don’t try to lose more than one or two pounds a week. Instead of super long workouts, make it your goal to get 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of intense exercise each week.

Spot Reduction

Doing crunches won’t shrink your stomach just like doing squats won’t slim your thighs. That’s because despite marketing schemes that say otherwise, there’s no such thing as spot reduction, so quit doing exercises targeted for a specific body part. Many weight machines and isolation exercises give the false impression that they’ll work your trouble spots. While exercises will tone and tighten the muscles they work, they won’t burn off the fat that’s stuck on top of those muscles. The best way to lose weight is with a workout routine that includes both intense cardio and resistance training.

Behind-the-Neck Exercises

Several exercises to avoid are those performed behind your neck. Examples include the lat pull-down and behind-the-head military press or shoulder press. Done using a weight machine or free weights, if done incorrectly, these exercises can rotate the shoulders into an unnatural position. The repeated strain can cause injury to your shoulders or the bar could harm your neck. To more safely work your back muscles, go with pull-downs and military presses or shoulder presses in front of your body.

Leg Raises

There are plenty of exercises that work your abs, but leg raises should not be one of them. Your spine and lower back are at risk for injury when you lie on your back and raise both legs off the floor at the same time. Stay safe and do planks, crunches, or single leg raises instead.

Upright Row

A second exercise dangerous for your shoulders is the upright row. As you pull weights up to your chin, your shoulder and wrist nerves may be compressed. Work your shoulders without risk for injury with front or lateral shoulder raises with your arms slightly bent.

Deep Squats

Protect your knees and lower back by avoiding movements that require your legs to bend lower than a 90-degree angle. While doing squats of any kind or using the leg press machine, make sure your knees don’t bend past 90 degrees and your knees will thank you for years to come.

Straight-Leg Deadlifts

It’s crucial that proper form be used during any weight lifting exercise. When done incorrectly, straight-leg deadlifts are easy to do the wrong way. If the bar isn’t kept close to your legs, your lower back will bear the weight of the barbell, which puts your back at risk for injury. Without supervision from a trained professional, it’s best to avoid the straight-leg deadlift.