Workout Tips

10 Practically Useless Exercises

Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.

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10 Practically Useless Exercises

Face it, you’ve got a lot on your plate and you really have to cut the fat these days. Productivity and efficiency are key.

“You’re wasting a lot of time and energy on things that don’t give you the desired effect when you could be putting that time and energy into much more productive exercises,” says Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., exercise science director at Quincy College in Massachusetts, who estimates that nearly half the people in the gym could substitute better exercises to achieve their goals.

Fitness experts are quick to point out that there are very few exercises that are completely useless across the board, but here are the ones they deem less worthy of your valuable time.

Smith Machine Squats

“The primary reason I would deem this move fairly useless for most people is the fact that the Smith Machine in general locks you into a guided bar path, which will reduce the co-contraction of the quads and hamstrings. That decreases hamstring activation because they don’t have to counteract the quads as much and the bar is already being stabilized.” - Craig Rasmussen, C.S.C.S. Training Director at Results Fitness in Newhall, CA

Standing Chest Fly

“It doesn’t work the chest at all because the chest isn’t working against gravity. What it is working are your shoulders, holding the weights against gravity in a lateral raise position. So I’m not saying it’s a bad exercise, but people think it works your chest and it doesn’t.” -Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., exercise science director at Quincy College in Massachusetts

Triceps Extensions or Dumbbell Kickbacks

“Triceps extensions or dumbbell kickback is a classic one that most people will waste a lot of time on. You can create a whole lot more of a training effect from doing things like pushups and any kind of presses. So that’s where you’re better off spending your time.” - Craig Rasmussen, C.S.C.S. Training Director at Results Fitness in Newhall, CA

SEE ALSO: The 30 Best Shoulder Exercises of All Time>>

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