6 Popular Workouts That Aren’t as Effective as Advertised

Finding the time to work out can be a Sisyphean task, especially when you’re doing your best at work. That means you’ll need to budget your time wisely. Any type of exercise that gets you sweating is good, but some routines are more effective compared to others.

So, why should you invest time in these wasteful exercises? In this guide, you’ll learn some of the worst exercises that you need to avoid. Read on and find out more.

1. Dumbbell Side Bands

Hitting the Goodlife Fitness gym is great and all, especially when you’re trying to cinch your waist while tightening your love handles. Most people will pick dumbbell side bends as their go-to routine, but it isn’t as effective as you think.

After all, this exercise won’t engage your obliques, according to performance specialists. In most cases, this exercise will involve a lot of lateral bending as well as spine twisting. If you want to achieve your desired results, you need to do some hanging oblique knee raises since it targets the same muscle group without putting too much pressure on your spine.

2. Superman

The Superman routine is a bodyweight exercise that mainly targets your lower back. But it’s not efficient since this exercise will force your lower back to overextend repeatedly. This will make you develop bad patterns and worsen your back pain.

So, what’s the best alternative to this exercise move? The answer is reverse back extensions since it allows your back to extend to its fullest without too much extension. It also makes your glutes and core tighter, allowing you to support your lower back and avoid undue pain.

3. Behind-the-Neck Presses

This is a popular bodybuilding exercise since it helps make your shoulders, upper back, and triceps stronger. But as an exercise for building upper body strength, it’s one of the least efficient. The reason is that it puts a lot of strain on your neck as well as your shoulder muscles.

Another thing to remember with this exercise is that it needs standing with good posture. It means you’re risking injury if you have rounded shoulders and upper back. You’re likely to have this condition since you’re working and use the phone daily.

If you have poor shoulder mobility, these presses aren’t ideal. Instead, you should try doing the dumbbell Arnold press. It’s safer and more effective since it focuses more on the front and back deltoids and your triceps.

4. Barbell Jump Squats

This exercise is often at the top of the list of people trying to tone their glutes and legs. It’s similar to other weighted plyometric exercises since it’s thought to focus on these muscle groups. But the truth is that using a barbell in these exercise routines can exert a lot of pressure on your joints and your back.

The same muscles could get stronger if you’re using bodyweight squat jumps. You can also try doing box jumps and dumbbell jump squats as alternatives. Master these exercises can go a long way in saving you from a lot of pain since it affects your movements.

5. Leg Extension machines

Some exercise machines are good if you want to correct your form while you target specific muscle groups. Sadly, the leg extension machine isn’t included in this list. After all, it will apply tension to your ACL, increasing the risk of your knee cap sliding in either direction.

The leg extension machine will also put the maximum force at the back of your knee cap. This part has the thinnest part of your cartilage. That means you’re more likely to injure yourself than achieve your goals.

If you want to build up your quads and glutes, ditch the machine. Do some squats, deadlifts, and lunges. Single leg exercises are the best since it doesn’t result in muscle imbalances while developing coordination and stability.

6. Smith Machine

It’s often used when doing various barbell exercises like deadlifts and back squats. It’s problematic since it has a fixed bar path. It will force you to move according to the machine instead of your natural movements.

Take note, your movement will depend on your height, mobility, and other factors. With that, a fixed bar can get you injured since your joints become overloaded on an unnatural movement path. As an alternative, try using dumbbells since it can help you accomplish moves like pulls, squats, and lunges.


Exercising isn’t all about heavy lifting and sweating. You need to focus more on achieving your goals efficiently. That way, your body won’t suffer from fatigue and other exercise-related injuries due to unnatural movement.

Follow the alternatives to these exercises to ensure efficiency. That way, you’ll see more gains without wearing your body out.

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