Four Moves to Ditch at the Gym
Workout Strategies That Backfire
We all want that killer Gisele-style bod, but doing the wrong moves during our workouts can actually hinder our progress instead of producing results. Top New York City personal trainer Adam Schersten shared four common workout strategies that can backfire. Break up with these popular exercise busters and upgrade to his suggestions for a hotter, leaner body, stat.
Mistake: Doing Side Crunches on a Roman Chair for a Sexy Stomach
You may think you’re whittling your waist into a sexy six-pack by doing side crunches, but chances are you’re not. If the move is done effectively, you’re actually building muscle underneath the fat, making the area appear even larger, Schersten said. “You can’t target fat loss, so doing an exercise targeting a specific body part is not going to result in fat loss in that area.” Plus, the lateral flexion that happens during this exercise can cause injury to the spine. For a better oblique workout (and a safer exercise for the spine), Schersten suggested warding drills, a move that involves holding out a cable straight in front of you with your shoulders depressed and retracted while you try to resist the pull from the cable as it tries to bring your body around; hold for 30 seconds then switch sides, which works your obliques while keeping the spine neutral.
Mistake: Using Hip Abductor Machines to Tone Thighs and Glutes
When you’re in a seated position, you are flexing the hip which changes the plane of motion to horizontal abduction, meaning you're targeting a tiny muscle the size of your thumb. “It burns because you are working a tiny muscle, but it’s more a waste of time,” Schersten said. If hip abduction work is really what you want, try lateral crab walks with a resistance band instead. But if a great butt is your focus (and let’s face it, why shouldn’t it be) Schersten suggested trying step-ups (hauling your body up and down a step repeatedly just like in a step aerobics class) to achieve a ferociously firm little booty.
Mistake: Reading on the Cardio Machines to Keep Yourself Occupied
Reading any material on a piece of cardio equipment or talking is definitely slowing your workout progress. Take the talk test: “If your client can talk to you while performing an exercise, they’re not working hard enough. That also applies to reading. If your brain can focus on a size 12 font, you’re not working out effectively.” So put down the gossip mags, ladies — you can save those for the beach.
Mistake: Working with Really Low Weights to Avoid Bulking Up
The idea of strength training is to build strength and lean muscle. If you can do more than 20 repetitions, the weight is too light. “Don’t worry about getting bulky and muscular. Women don’t have enough testosterone for those bulky muscles they fear,” Schersten said. “Pick up a heavier set of weights, and you’ll see results a lot faster. Aim to fail at 15-20 rep maximum and you’ll get the lean muscle you’re looking for.” For reverse lunges for example, Schersten recommended 15-20 pound weights in each hand.
A better bod before bikini season? We can’t think of a better reason to get "pumped.”
xx. The FabFitFun NY Team
Posted on February 16, 2013