5 Things You Should NOT Do At The Gym

A man doing crunches at the gymGetting to the gym is hard enough- so now that you’re there let’s make it count. Not all fitness machines/equipment are created equal. Some are worth exploring, but tons are honestly a complete waste of time. Not sure what camp your favorite gym activity falls in? Read this and get ready to take the work out of your workout.

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Treadmill Dreadmill

The number one reason why people join gyms is for the cardio machines- and the #1 cardio machine is the treadmill. I mean, this popular machine is excellent for winter running or even for a good ol’ power walk, however here’s the deal: they are boring. Constantly clocking miles on a conveyer belt can lead to lackadaisical workouts if you aren’t careful. So spice things up by adding an incline or by throwing in some interval work the next time you sweat it out on the treadmill. By ramping things up you are telling your body, “Hey, I came to work. Not chill.”

Press Away From The Leg Press Machine

Ever wonder why you never have to wait in line in order to get on the leg press and leg extension machine? Because there are better ways to tone your legs that’s why. These machines (along with many other stationary lower body machines) completely go against our body’s natural way of moving. Think about it, we walk around on our legs all day, squat down to pick things up and sometimes even sprint a few feet for the train or a taxi. So why would you work them at the gym by sitting on a machine? Ditch these time wasters and opt for more functional movements like squats and lunges instead.

Sit Ups & Crunches Are So 1992

For real for real. First of all, majority of folks are doing crunches wrong- straining their necks and pulling on their spines/backs as opposed to flexing their core muscles. This causes a lot of strain on the vertebras that make up your spine. And P.S. All that crunching will ultimately give you one thing an one thing only: a rounded back. Second of all, even if you are one of the few who do crunches correctly you are still only working a small fraction of your core. Crunches only allow for forward flexion and primarily isolate the upper layer of the abdominal region. There are various other regions and planes of motion that make up your core. So unless you are interested in bulky lumps around your ribs, a Quasimodo physique and a hernia- skip all of those crunches. Planks, balancing exercises and cardio based core work are all better options.

Shift Gears On The Elliptical

Ellipticals have been stealing the show for quite awhile now, however have you met Mrs. Elliptical’s first cousin Mr. Arc Trainer? This similar cross-training machine offers a slightly different movement pattern that actually keeps your foot under your knee a bit better. So, next time you find yourself gliding away the calories, try adjusting the incline and not just the resistance. However be careful not to lean on those handlebars. Stand up straight, keep your head upright and power through with those super strong legs.

Stay Armed And Ready

Because we don’t walk around on our hands all day, our upper bodies are naturally the weakest link when it comes to our extremities. So with that said, proper training of this region is key. And the best way to become an arm wrestling champion is to explore hand weights, resistance bands and cable machines. All three of these options imitate the typical “push” and “pull” that our arms are required to do on a daily basis, therefore leading to more efficient upper body movement overall. With that said, step away from those seated upper body machines. I mean, don’t we already sit enough?

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