If you're any sort of gym buff you'll probably see a sharp increase in the number of people at your local gym...that's the bad news. The good news? It'll start petering off dramatically around the end of February. In fact gym membership sales will go up by 30% this month
. Gym managers say their busiest month is January, followed by the slowest...February. And those that make New Year's resolutions? 64% will last the one month mark and only 46% make it to six months.
But this isn't about the crazy schedule at your local gym. It's about those three rather large time wasting exercises that a lot of the newbies will be doing in their (admirable) pursuit of getting healthy for the New Year. To be fair, no exercise is worthless...even if you are just standing in your kitchen making dinner you're burning calories. However, there are more efficient exercises that you can do to improve the movements and results.
1. The Crunch.
As far as working out muscles this exercise is rather pointless. You are only working a small portion of your abdominal muscles and then only the front ab muscles, not your obliques
and can create an imbalance in your core-leading to back problems. Fortunately there's a much better alternative.
THE PLANK (yay!!)
This little beauty has so many variations that it's one of the best full body exercises. You're working your entire core, butt, legs, and shoulders. It's a great exercise to help prevent back pain.
2.The Peck Deck Chest Fly
Machines aren't always all that they are cracked up to be. According to researchers at San Diego State University the peck deck actually puts your shoulders in an extremely vulnerable position as it simultaneously rotates and abducts.
The same muscles are used in a crossover fly allowing you to build the same chest muscles without any of the potential harm to your shoulders.
3. The Bench Press
According to BodyBuilding.com
there are extreme dangers associated with the traditional bench press. While it may be excellent for building chest and tricep strength, if you're benching heavy weight you run the risk of muscular imbalances, shoulder pain, and torn rotator cuffs.
The Push Up
Because the bench press does not allow shoulders to rotate properly and puts undue stress on the rotator cuff, the push up is a great replacement. Pups ups build muscle in the pecs, shoulders, triceps, and are great at developing core strength. There are dozens of modifications that mean you'll never run out of new ways to challenge yourself.