Maybe I’m just an old man… but I’m really, REALLY over these silly “Gung Ho” challenges that have 100 pull-ups, 100 burpees, 80 lunges, blah, blah, blah.
Unless you’re an insane, freakish athlete… NO ONE can do 100 pull-ups with perfect form.
Seeing this madness, I decided to put together this list of exercises to STOP doing right now if you’re serious about getting in shape while NOT destroying your body.
Exercise #1 – Side Bends
This silly exercise will wreak havoc on your lower back. This is when you hold a dumbbell at your side and you bend at your waist to the side.
It’s awkward. It’s dangerous. Just stop it.
The solution – Spiderman Climbs, high rep DB Rows, Side Planks, a variety of chops.
Exercise #2 – Abundance of Lunges
I said “abundance”, not totally avoid this exercise. Lunges rock. I do them. My clients have done them. My betta fish that is black and blue named “Braveheart” does them. Well… not really, but if he had legs he would.
Look, this is an amazing exercise.
But doing 100 of them does no good if your form is horrible.
I guarantee that if you do just 10 of them using NO weight with perfect form, you’ll get more benefits from that than you would from 100 “sloppy” lunges.
I challenge you to do 10 per side today… 3 sets…. keeping this in mind:
1) Your rear knee should be just a few inches from touching the ground
2) Go at a slow tempo (taking 2-3 seconds to lower yourself and 1 second to come up)
3) Driving through your lead leg through the HEEL of your foot to return to the start position!
4) Focus on engaging and contracting your glutes
5) Keep your upper body nice and tall with a proud posture (shoulders back)
It will blow your mind when you do them right – I guarantee it.
Exercise #3 – Those Weird Inner/Outer “Thingys”
I’m calling them that because that’s what you call them (I listen to people at the gym).
Listen, using your inner and outer thighs to lift weight while in a seated position puts you at risk for straining these relatively small muscles. Plus, you’ll run into lower back and even hip problems.
Plus, God gave you your inner and outer thighs to SUPPORT movement, not to be the primary mover.
Instead, do lateral step-ups. This is when you stand parallel to a bench and step up onto it. Take a solid 3 seconds to lower yourself. This will rock your hips 😉
Another great exercise is the Diagonal Lunge, where you lunge forward at an angle (think of it as the midway point between a forward lunge and a side lunge).
Exercise #4 – Lying Leg Lifts
You’ll see this move a lot in bootcamps and group classes. It’s when you lie on your back and lift your legs off the ground. Sure, you work your abs. But you also put a ton of stress on your lower back.
The risk for reward is NOT worth it.
Instead, you can do:
– Ab wheel or stability ball rollouts
– X-Body mountain climbers
Speaking of climbing…
Exercise #5 – Mountain Climbers with a Fast Tempo and “Piked” Hips
Here in Mikey Land, we don’t do mountain climbers at a fast tempo like you see in a lot of classes and bootcamps… and even YouTube videos.
Instead, you’ll work your abs HARDER if you do them at a moderate tempo, while keeping your hips low. So try doing just 3 sets of 8 reps per side… you’ll be surprised.
Alright, it’s time for some hoops! (perfect timing… my caffeine is kicking in).
Mikey Whitfield, Master CTT