5 Exercise Moves That Don’t Work

A couple doing sit-ups on the floor
If you’re working out, then you’re probably wasting your time and energy doing particular exercises that aren’t particularly effective. Why? There’s just so much information out there…and a much of it isn’t as accurate as you’d like to believe.

Plus, you’re probably so anxious to achieve your fitness goals that you’re willing to do just about anything to get there.

But before you waste another minute, dollar, or ounce of energy, know that the best way to obtain your fitnes goal is the old fashioned way: cardio, resistance, diet, repeat.

So, what exercises DON’T you need to waste your time doing? Here’s 5 of them…

1. Sit-Ups/Crunches

You can crunch until the cows come home and still have a muffin top folding over your jeans. Why? Doing 100s of daily sit-ups is actually extinguishing the oxygen from your muscles, suffocating them as opposed to strengthening them. Instead do 3 sets of 15 10-second crunches, moving like molasses, or simply hold Plank pose for 1 minute every day. BUT even that won’t guarantee a 6-pack. You have to burn off the fat that sits on top first. How? Cardio and diet. This doesn’t mean that crunches are pointless. The more muscle you have, the more calories you naturally burn, even during rest.

2. Tricep Kickbacks

dumbbell triceps kickback girl workout exercise at gym

Sadly, the ability to perform triceps kickbacks until the sun sets isn’t an indication of strength. SparkPeople explained the angle of your arm prevents you from lifting enough weight to really challenge your triceps. You’ll have to do a stunning amount of repetitions to feel anything. It sucks up a lot of time without delivering any real results, so give this one a rest. It’s also easy to turn this move into a swing rather than a lift. Dips or triceps extensions are going to get you where you want a lot faster.

3. Stretching Without First Warming Up

Yes, stretching is essential to exercising–only if done correctly. Imagine a stick of taffy. If you try to bend it in half without first gently warming it up, it will snap. That could be your muscle. That’s why you never want to stretch a cold muscle- ever! More than risking ripping, stretching before working out also makes your muscles produce less force. In other words, you get less out of your workout because of your pre-exercise stretch. So what should you do before your workout? Warm-up! Before you run, jump, or do anything strenuous, get your blood flowing for a few minutes by walking or marching in place.