In this era of constant information, many gyms, “experts,” and now social media influencers are doling out misinformation to fitness novices who don’t know any better. In reality, a lot of these so-called experts are doing nothing more than regurgitating things they have heard from those that came before them. This accomplishes little more than transforming fitness myths with no scientific backing or real-world justification into widely accepted “facts.”

One of the areas where this is most rampant is around exercises that are purported to be absolutely essential to making any meaningful fitness progress or strength and muscle gains. The truth is, not only are there no absolutely necessary exercises, but many of these classic moves have alternatives that actually produce far better results.

Don’t get us wrong. These are all great exercises that we encourage the use of in many of our routines, but they aren’t the end all, be all. And for many beginners, the alternatives are a much better (and safer) place to start.