5 Most Overrated Exercises You Can Stop Doing

5 Most Overrated Exercises You Can Stop Doing

You’re a busy person, right?

You want your time at the gym to be well spent, not wasted on exercises that won’t get you anywhere in terms of fitness or strength.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and that’s resulted in many of us using precious gym time doing things that are either totally useless or not as result-spurring as other options.

Read on to find out which five overrated exercises you can cut from your gym routine. 

1. Abdominal and Side Plank

These core-focused exercises certainly have their uses for beginners: abdominal and side planks help strengthen core muscles and improve overall stability.

plank

But because these are static bodyweight exercises (as in, you’re holding one position rather than flexing and unflexing your muscles), they quickly lose their potency once you reach a certain strength level, and then you’re pretty much just hanging out.

If you can already hold the plank for 30-60 seconds and you’re not looking to set a Guinness world record then try switching to exercises that challenge your stability dynamically, like a set of push-ups or more difficult variations of the plank.

Ultimately, once you can hold the plank or any other variation for 60 seconds or more it’s time to change. Continuously doing the plank over and over again will only slow down your progress.

Challenge your body’s ability to maintain a stable core while moving in a controlled manner and you will not only be able to improve faster but you’ll also help prevent injuries in the long run.

2. Traditional Crunches

Note that in our dynamic exercise suggestion we did not mention crunches. While many people think that doing a hundred crunches a day will get them rock solid abs, it simply isn’t the case. Crunches only target one small abdominal muscle group, and can also place an undue amount of strain on the back and neck.

Think about adding some balance ball exercises to your routine instead, which tend to offer more variation and require more muscle action to stabilize your body with each movement.

3. Bench Press

bench press

Although it’s a staple of gym buffs everywhere, the bench press is overrated mainly because too many beginners stick to this chest exercise thinking that it’s the only thing they need. But according to Poliquin Performance,

“As a general guideline – and this applies both to athletes and to the general population – never perform more than 20 percent of your training volume for pressing exercises from a [supine] position. In other words, 80 percent of your presses should be performed from other angles, such as with an incline or military press. Further, at least 50 percent of pressing exercises should be performed with dumbbells, as they offer a more natural movement pattern and provide a more challenging workout for the muscles that stabilize the shoulder.”

Basically the bench press does have its place in a properly structured program. Just make sure not to make it your main focus every time you hit the gym.

Doing too much horizontal work can lead to serious rotator cuff problems because the muscles in the shoulders develop an imbalance.

So if you want to avoid the risk of ever having to go through a rotator cuff surgery, try following some of the guidelines outlined above.

4. Seated Knee Extension

seated knee raise

Along with the leg press, the seated knee extension is one lower-body weight machine exercise that can be replaced with a way more effective substitute.

Like most weight machines, seated knee extensions target only one muscle group – in this case the quadriceps – in a motion that doesn’t translate well to other applications.

Plus, you don’t engage core and stabilizing muscles, so you miss out on a good opportunity to work your entire body.

Replace seated knee extensions with a walking dumbbell lunge or front squats.

5. Hanging Knee Raise

hanging knee raise

This is an exercise that’s got the opposite problem from some of those mentioned previously: it’s too hard for most of the people who try to do it, which means that unless you’ve got enough training experience under your belt, you’re probably not doing it correctly. Incorrect hanging knee raises not only fail to strengthen the muscles you’re intending to bulk up or tone, they also put you at risk for injury.

sources:

  • http://sportsmedicine.about.com/b/2012/02/01/the-most-overrated-exercises.htm
  • http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/10-fun-moves-to-reshape-your-body-with-exercise-ball-workout
  • http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sampleworkouts/qt/Walking-Dumbbell-Lunge.htm
  • http://athleticperformancetc.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/avoid-these-3-overrated-exercises/
  • http://www.livestrong.com/article/535201-alternates-for-hanging-leg-raises/
  • http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/850/Is_the_Bench_Press_Overrated.aspx

Will you be changing up your workout routine after reading this list? What moves are you doing instead?

Around The Web

  • http://www.facebook.com/wyane.biggs Wyane Biggs

    the information provided here is very uninformative,I have been in this field for a while,and although yes you can stop an exercise,but I ask why remove a proven caloric burning activity,those forms of exercise promote a healthy fast metabolism, and have shown to improve performance and strength,The core is the group of muscles dedicated by your body to hold your spine in position ,your guts, and obviously your entire body relies on it,

    • http://profiles.google.com/cherimoya9 Jeff H

      He explained why to evolve past planks.

      And no, planks don’t burn a whole lot of calories… maybe 10 per minute.

      • mtx_devitt

        Planks are about strength and posture, people wanting to burn calories are wanting to look nice, Strengthening your muscles will do that and make you feel amazing. Ignore this bad advice ….. Thin with no muscle mass? Whats the point? (and im not talking bodybuilders here)

        • http://www.facebook.com/guy.daley.7 Guy Daley

          Once you can do something effortlessly, like planks for 30 seconds, then its not about developing strength anymore and it hardly burns ANY calories. Next you’ll be telling us that yoga burns lots of calories and is great for developing strength.

          • thomas j. kavany

            Right, Guy. Waiting for someone to say Something that makes sense.

          • Kalax03

            30 seconds? thats why you dont feel anything. Do it for a good 2 minutes youll scream like a baby. People only believe things are effective when they see something like abs or big biceps or triceps. Yet if a strong body with lots of good trained muscle mass is covered by a layer of fat it is an untrained fat blob.

      • AlonditeMX

        Not even 10 per minute. maybe 3 or 4 on top of what you’re already burning.

      • Gail Lynch

        That means we would have to do planks forever, little bang of your time. I don’t know about a lot of people here, but planks hurt the back after a while. I have a natural sway back. I does not help my back at all when the plank workout goes on forever.

    • Ez E

      Dude, first off stop being stubborn. “remove” is a word you take to literal. You can “replace” those with something more effective, or more suited to your level of fitness. Although you sound like a hardcore not everyone has the time to waste on things that don’t matter that much. you might want to open your mind a little and rep the rewards.

    • Beth Samuels

      You ask “why remove a proven caloric burning activity”. Because your body gets used to doing the same exercise over and over. You have to “change” to get the most out of exercise. Moderation is key or you’ll end up like me with back problems at 58 (or any number of physical injuries).

      • Kalax03

        You have back problems because you proly didnt do the excersises right for a loger period of time. I know lots of peolpe who are even older than you and are strong as hell. And what do you have to change then out of the excersise? You mean you need different variations of excersises? I think youre an misinformed 58 year old man now with injuries you dont need to have and dont put the blame on the excersises.

        • RapItUp

          That’s no way to talk to your elders..

        • TheTruth

          I think you are misinformed on your grammar, fitness and how to talk to people that forgot more than you know. He makes some great points.

    • AlonditeMX

      It’s not a “proven caloric burning activity” at all. In fact, it’s the opposite. It has barely any aerobic component, and doesn’t provide enough resistance to create significant muscle trauma to elevate caloric expenditure post-exercise.

      It also doesn’t promote a “healthy fast” metabolism, because, once again, it doesn’t provide enough resistance for marked amounts of hypertrophy. Muscle mass is a huge component of metablism, i.e., the more you have, the more you burn.

      • Nono_Yobiz

        Muscle mass’s effect on metabolism is overrated. About 80% of your BMR is fueling your internal organs. Protein synthesis accounts for the remaining 20%. Muscles burn 5 calories per lb per day, so if you put on 10 lbs of muscle you’ll raise your BMR about 50 Calories. Significant yes but not huge.

        • AlonditeMX

          You’re not considering muscles’s role in oxygen consumption during exercise. More mass = more O2 consumption = higher metabolic rate.

  • JustAnotherGamer

    Best excercise is still walking… like a boss!

    • http://www.facebook.com/paddy.rangihaeata Paddy Rangihaeata

      I like!

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.brown.7970 Matthew Brown

      but can you lose two and a half stone in a month just by walking?

      • Iska Waran

        what the hell is a stone?

        • gods.princessss

          oops, your ignorance just slipped out…a stone to him is like saying pounds to us

          • semantic_nazi

            …another misuse of that word – “ignorance” is when someone IGNORES a truth. Having no exposure to some knowledge and inquiring on that knowledge is far from ignoring it. Only in (relatively) recent time in our culture has the word come to mean ‘not-knowing’..

          • russell.d.wilson1

            That’s the beauty of the English language, it grows and changes

          • czarembo

            It’s the beauty of any language.

          • SohnMan

            Actually as stone is about 14 pounds.

          • TheTruth

            There are 14 lbs in a stone, so oops, your ignorance just busted out.

      • Duende Brooks

        If you are eating the right stuff and not too much of other stuff. Its all about the eating man. all about the eating. Food control weight exercise speeds up the process and lifting weights shapes the body. You can just walk and lose weight or you can just sit around and lose weights its about what you eating and not about how much you are eating.

      • curly2

        Not a chance….. I’d suggest doing very short running spurts while walking to keep your heart rate up.
        I see lots of overweight people walking around here, year after year, with no discernable weight loss. The body adapts very quickly, so mixing it up by very short intervals of exertion will burn more calories far quicker than just cruising along walking.. Worked for me…

      • Maurice A Tillman

        Yes. Walking is a great way to lose weight. It’s about distance. No matter how you get from point A to B, whether you walk or run, you burn the same amount of energy because you’re using the same muscles. It’s just that walking will get you to point B at a slower pace. If you walk 3 miles, you’ll burn about the same amount of calories as running 3 miles. Furthermore, you still have enough in you to do activities afterward.

    • billybob

      Running is way better than walking. Yes you can walk a lot farther because you are not working very hard. Once you start to get into some shape though you will not have enough time to walk as many miles as you could run in the same day. Maybe if time is of no importance to you walking can be helpful, but you would be much better off running.

      • Maurice A Tillman

        Running is not “better” for weight loss. Running does give one a stronger heart and lungs. However, running long distances isn’t required for that. And running doesn’t cause a person to lose weight any faster.

        Walking is a natural movement, first off. You can almost walk all day without injury. Also, fat is better burned by not working hard because it burns slowly. It’s designed to burn slowly so you will starve to death during a crisis. While walking, the body will use fat to fuel you. Running on the other hand will send your body into an emergency state.

        Whenever you run, the body uses energy fast than it can burn fat. Therefore, one must be sure to consume a high-carb meal shortly before running. If not, your body will not have the energy it needs and will use protein. Next to carbs, protein is the easiest substance for the body to break down. Of course, protein makes up our entire body.

        All in all, running is great for building muscle and strength. However, to maintain a running program, one must eat more, which counteracts fat loss. Unless you alternate walking and running days…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004101768537 Suburban Dictionary

    Gym does for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/collin.ang.79 Collin Ang

    bench press and crunches are over rated? why not add squats and dead lifts to your list while you’re at it?

    • http://profiles.google.com/cherimoya9 Jeff H

      Squats are definitely overrated, since we don’t usually carry things on our back in the real world, we hold them below us. Deadlifts are more functional, as are lunges.

      • Ryan

        You must have a desk job,in the army we carry thing on our back a long way, but i am sure the copier not far away for you. Squats is the number one exercise to build strength in your legs.

        • zeroshock

          Heh he must only workout his upper body lol

          • Brad Ward

            Probably a “rooster.” Big upper body with toothpick legs. His body is probably totally out of proportion.

        • pehunter

          Good answer; just check your grammar and punctuation. “we carry thing” should be “we carry things.” And “i am sure” should be “I am sure.” The “copier not far” should be the “copier is not far.” And lastly, “Squats is” should be “Squats are.”

          • Gabe Fabe

            pehunter, why pick on someone’s grammar? It’s petty and irrelevant to the conversation. There are, furthermore, two points you might like to think about: first, if an exercise drill is called “Squats”, then it may not be inaccurate to say “Squats is the number one exercise”; secondly (on a “glass houses & stones” note), sentences should not begin with a preposition…..just sayin’ } ;0)

          • Leo

            In general, I agree with you.. These are just comments not formal essays.. However, we need to be careful because some may not have the formal education and think the “errors” are correct.
            By the way, I’ve never heard of your admonition that a sentence should not begin with a preposition.

          • Brad Ward

            Thank you for saying it, Gabe. There is nothing more irritating than an illiterate that is trying to correct another person’s use of grammar and punctuation.

          • arcrendition

            Except the latter most portion of Gabe’s comment wasn’t correct. “And” is not a preposition, it’s a conjunction. It’s perfectly legitimate to begin a sentence with “And.” Grammar, punctuation and sentence structure doesn’t have to be perfect but people should go ahead and take a few seconds to quickly proof read their posts before submitting them in an effort to correct any glaring or obvious errors, it’s just common sense. But then again, there are droves of ignorant, unintelligible, and apathetic people that seem perfectly content to type nonsensical drivel that reads like a first grader’s grammar practice book (and yes, you can begin a sentence with “but, it too is a conjunction in this case).

          • FaithBuilder

            I think “and” is not a preposition but a conjunction.

          • yogaFlo

            Yes, “and” is a conjunction and it is perfectly legitimate to use it at the beginning of a sentence

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1323487444 C.P. Lund

            Gabe, “…why pick on someone’s grammar…”? Because we were all taught in school to read and write properly so that we could communicate with one another and get our message across. I am embarrassed that I have to work to decypher some of the CRAP that some people post as replies. If they aren’t equally embarrassed to post some of this drivel then they should be told that it offends those of us who put an effort forward to post in English.

          • wrkber

            Just saying, “and” is not a preposition, it’s a conjunction. And it is okay to start an occasional sentence with a conjunction. Gabe, this isn’t really addressed to you, but I don’t understand how a conversation on changing up exercise as we gain strength turns into a bunch of comments with people becoming hateful to each other.

          • Bovril24

            Poor grammar reflects intellectual ignorance and personal laziness – try using it in your CV!

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1323487444 C.P. Lund

            pehunter, you beat me to it! I was going to say that when I served in the Army, you know, back when we trained in combat boots and fatigues (Shorts and tennis shoes weren’t ever thought of) and didn’t have “Time out Cards” in BCT, we could all spell properly and punctuate with the best of them!

          • noneyo_getit_0011232

            Seriously? Grammar correction has appropriately become a bit of a faux pas on forum posts. Frankly, it makes you look clueless. It unnecessarily antagonizes someone and makes a bad name for those of us who try to write well.

            It also screams insecurity. If there is a point you want to make that is valid and you actually understand what the other person is saying… it really begs the question: why have you been reduced to critiquing the manner in which they phrased it?

            FYI for those of us who have actually studied Linguistics “prescriptive grammar” (grammar as most people know it) is a complete joke. “Descriptive grammar” is what matters because it is the knowledge that people have in their heads without realizing it regarding language. It is what makes language intelligible that is useful: Kind of obvious if you think about it but go figure. Prescriptive grammar has a history of existing solely for the purpose of showing off what social group you belong to… no utility whatsoever. Also prescriptive grammar in English has a notorious history of changing to fit changes in everyday speech (descriptive grammar) when “grammatically correct” sentences were starting to become confusing regardless of education level.

          • thomas j. kavany

            Silly Me! I thought this board was about exercise! Silly, Silly, Silly!

          • Beth Samuels

            Seriously. You are spot on. This is not about grammar. It’s about getting questions answered.
            If you like good grammar Tony, write a book and throw in some descriptive grammar. Thanks.

          • TEX

            Cut him some slack, he’s in the armie…lol.

        • Brad Ward

          Amen, Ryan! Consider the source of this “information.”

        • yogaFlo

          Ryan is right! That’s why doing them are so hard. They take a lot of strength, even air squats. And holding a heavy load while doing squats will get you in shape like nothing else will.

        • functrainer

          I totally agree with you, squads are the foundation off a strong core if excecuted in the right way, way more efficient than crunches as the neuro muscalar system is totally activated and the engagment off multiple musclegroups makes you work on a balanced structure troughout your whole body, what an idiot is that jeff to say that squads are overrated. probably your typical mirror boy with big guns, big pecks, flat back and spagethi leggs. Trains only what you see in the mirror above your waist and drives a bmw convertable whilest living with his mum

        • Doc

          Im in the army and a physical therapist, the lunge will do you far more justice than the squat.

      • LongTom

        Squats are probably the single best exercise you can perform. They target the largest muscles in your body (quadriceps), as well as demanding balance and general core strength. Do you ever get up out of a chair? If you could do only one exercise, it should be squats.

        • bob kruman

          But squats can be tough on the lower back, and some people – like me – just don’t have the legs for it, Plus, I have lower back issues I got from – you guessed it – doing too much squatting (and olympic style lifting) as a younger guy. What is very good and similar and puts less strain on the knees, lower back & shoulders is doing leg presses on a sled. In short, squats aren’t for everybody.

          • alex

            If you got that from squatting then you’re doing something wrong and rather than stop doing squats altogether, you should fix your bad form. Then you won’t have back problems.

          • Murray

            Squats are excellent for the lower back if done properly. Your body will align the spine and the core muscles are worked while stabilizing the upper body. If I stop doing squats eventually my back will ache. Squats are #1. Agreed, the single most important exercise one can do.

          • futurePrimitive

            Agreed – my experience is like yours. Squats are great for me.
            I think it’s fair to recognize that some people are just way too tall and lanky in the back to squat as well as a more stocky person, as the lower back can fatigue before the legs get a serious workout.

          • Brad Ward

            Agreed. That’s probably why “half squats” were invented.

          • mtx_devitt

            if its not good for your lower back then its because4 you have posture problems , most likely tilted pelvis , get a better chair and try again

          • Vserp

            Don’t know if you’ll ever see this, but you should look into the zelcher squat. That should take care of any back issues.

            In my routines prepared by a pro body builder I do have that listed, he likes it better because he says regular squats done long enough ALWAYS cause problems. I do regular squats anyway because they’re easier and less of a hassle. But try the zelcher (maybe zercher, too lazy to check right now and am at work).

        • Lau344

          My physical therapist showed me, what I believe to be the most cost-efficient exercise for the lower body and for lifelong functional fitness. Sit in a chair (the lower the chair/bench, the more challenging the exercise) and stand up on one leg, then sit back down. Do this 12 times on each leg. It gets every lower-body muscle from your toes to the top of your buttocks. Not at all hard on the back – and I have a very difficult back.

          • Beth Samuels

            I like this Lau344. I’ll give it a try since I have a difficult back also. Thanks.

        • Roger

          Actually the best all round exercise is the ‘burpee’ or b*****d as it’s known in our fitness group. It’s a combination press-up, squat thrust and squat star jump.

          • Anal Fungis Acid

            When I am in a workout session I am told to do many different exercises but the one I hate the most is burpees, it tires me out fast and I don’t have the energy to do more than 20… The other one is mountain climbers, what is your opinion on those?

          • Jake Bennett

            I DESPISE burpees and mountain climbers. But I do know there is value in them. I am in the Army, and see people do so many of these exercises wrong. I know I have done them wrong in the past too. I just hate burpees because they hurt. Mountain climbers, too often, are just done wrong. People push their legs forward using their calves instead of abs to pull them. I have done it too, and towards the end of a big set, I am sure my form is getting terrible, but when people refuse to start right, that bugs the crap out of me.

        • http://www.facebook.com/karl.hurkett Karl Hurkett

          With a poor technique they solely target quadricpes

        • Gina

          I agree, it’s good to be able to get out of a chair, especially the older we get. I think the main problem some people have with squats is form, but even worse there is a tendency to pile on too much weight. They forget, unlike a bicep curl for example, the are not only lifting the barbell but also most of their own body weight. The muscle can take it, but the joints and tendons will rebel. Do it right and it is a good exercise.

      • mtx_devitt

        In the real world you should have good posture and be healthy. And not have hunch backs tilted pelvises forward heads ect ect, Do All these exercises , why short change your self?

      • Sean Royce

        Squats are renowned for being one of the best compound exercises the body can do.

      • Glenn Buchanan

        The squats are NOT overrated. its the excercise that incorporates more muscle groups in one motion than any other, the relevence being, MORE central nervous stimulation which in turn provokes more testosterone and growth hormone production, which THEN means ALL of your other excercises get the benefit the increase of annablolic hormones. Hmm yes, over rated -_-”

      • Amanda

        If you want a nice toned bum, squats are a must. It’s doing them PROPERLY that many if not most people fail at, If you don’t have the right technique in any of your exercises, you may as well not exercise at all.

      • jesse

        How can you expect to grow stronger or bigger in your upper body without training lower? Squats are one of the few natural movements we’ve been doing since we were born, and no, most people don’t deadlift things off the ground and carrying something isn’t the same movement as a deadlift, it is much more forearm and core so your argument is invalid. Every lift has it’s place.

    • curly2

      I’d agree that bench presses are overrated when it comes to how ‘much’ anyone can bench. After all, who cares? It’s not a natural motion anyone is doing on an everyday basis like squatting down to pick a weight up.
      It just builds what I call ‘flash muscle’; all looks with no practical use, other than to look good while you’re standing at the bar. I’d put giant biceps in that category also..

    • Charlesincharge3

      colin is right , the Squat is the only recorded exercise to actually cause the biggest increase in testosterone levels . Is a full chain exercise and results in immense strength increase if done correctly.

  • Guy with a ripped bod

    Ab exercises are indeed overrated and stupid and that female in the pic uses anabolic steroids and so does that annoying Asian guy in that featured vid.

    • ryan

      You must not have a strong core.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fit4boxing Joe Ramos

    Exercises Are Like A Buffet., You Only Do What You Need. Everything Is Good, But Only Ingest To Your Liking. Nothing Is Carved In Stone., Set Your Own Goals And Exercises., Achieve Your Own Goals.
    Push Yourself, Enough To Make Changes. Eat Healthy And Be Consistence, Its A Lifestyle. Enjoy!

    • Sage Benner

      Must you capitalize every word??

      • yogaFlo

        Apparently so, although I don’t know why

      • Kimi

        couldnt understand his message because of the capitalization?

      • Beth Samuels

        So what, who cares? Thanks.

    • Mad Moe

      Right On , Joe ! Starting out and just pumping numbers did nothing for me…I pump out an amount that burns and vary the weight/rep ratio and I feel great and it shows , but I am working to feel good and not body sculpt. Everyone is different and I really enjoy work outs where I feel what I’ve done and don’t feel like I’ve fallen off a mountain and hit every rock on the way down afterwards.

    • Girle

      Good common sense Joe

  • Faik Fasebuk

    Do the Viking workout.
    Just hang a heavy bag somewhere, get a couple of 5 lb. rubber mallets (one for each hand), and beat the crap out of it for half an hour, without stopping.
    Oh, and get some walking and rowing in…

    • KevHA

      This is the funniest workout I’ve ever read about (woops, i left a dangling preposition).

  • dion batencela

    half squats and later weighed squats strengthened my weakening 47 year old knees. squats are still the best for leg muscles(the largest groups of muscles in our body: hamstrings, and quads). now, i can lift my 50kg son with little effort. just take care when doing squats, and take your time to muscle up.

  • rogern1967

    I gave up doing these exercises and all others except walking. I am still alive!!!

  • Tim_Parker_999

    Exercising bores me to death. I feel like a hamster on a wheel. I find that the best form of exercise is traditional work (chopping wood, push mowing, pruning trees, gardening, home repair & maintenance, etc.) There are also fun recreational activities (tennis, racquet ball, basketball, swimming, rowing, hiking, skiing)

    I enjoy all of these activities. . . but I simply can not “work out”.

  • levibanda

    lets loose sum weight guys its easier.

  • Kamran Ahmed

    Personally i like : Dips , Crunches , Bench Press , Squats , Running. All these exercises will sure make you perfect at the same time they will also change your body shape.

  • just sayin

    Squats, Benches and Deadlifts baby… king moves.

    • futurePrimitive

      Now we’re talkin’.

  • stackhouse

    if you get to 60 seconds on a plank, try it one-legged and feel the trembles as your body powers up!

  • buffman marley

    you can put weight on ur back when planking for more resistance

  • Nila11

    Hi friends, i think best exercise to maintain your health is running around the town. because during running every muscle of body moves. it is actually fitness of whole body. So keep running instead of any other exercise.

  • Ihat ememberl

    Wow. This really goes against some fairly basic musculo-skeletal bio-mechanics. Guess what the stats show is true: physical and personal trainers can be worse for you than no exercise at all.

  • Brandon

    Planks are an amazing work out, beginners start on their elbows and toes closer together the easier …. advanced planks are toes and out-stretched arms on the finger tips … if you can hold that for 60 secs then change it to folding in half at the waist and walking out with your fingers to the full strech then walk your feet up, and repeat …. if your able to do that 10 times easily then maybe you need to look for new exercises. crunches can work any part of the abdomen it all depends on your control of your core you can work the top set of abs the whole way down the the 5th or 6th set of abs if you have enough stability to focus on those muscles. the key is to focus and do the exercise right not to rush through it.

  • Chris Rowi

    I really don’t see any valid argument on why these would be bad exersizes.
    The first one sure gets easier over time, so stop doing it or put a weight plate/backpack to make them harder, easy as that. The second and last exersizes only cause problems if you do them incorrectly, which is not a valid reason the tell people not to do them. Benchpress, like stated, it’s an exersize that is good, but you have to work it into a full workout, but hardly belongs on a list on “exercises you should stop doing”.
    As far as the 4th one, I can agree that there are better exsercieses, but it’s an easy exersice that can fit great for beginners and perhaps older people who don’t quite got the same balance for squats etc.

  • ricky

    holee, who is that chick?! daaaammmmmnnn.

    ill do benches and squats all day to get with that

  • CurG

    Actually the plank gets harder the more you hold. Anyone can hold 60 seconds. Try for 3 minutes or 5. I once did 10′, my body was on fire, abs looked tense.

    • yogaFlo

      That’s true! Planks are great and not doing them as part of a good fitness regime doesn’t make any sense

  • John Skrotzki

    The man speaks the truth of number 1!!!

    • pervert#1

      ahmen to that brother

    • jarradcvh059

      My Uncle Miles got white
      Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG by work part-time using a laptop. go to website
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  • http://www.facebook.com/agbodavidamuche Agbo David

    good to be here as i learnt a great lesson

  • kgjbnf

    Pushups are easier for the abs than planks. You can make planks more difficult by adding weight around the waist with weight vests or chains or doing more difficult variations. But it’s good to know that for back health, endurance is more important than power. Check out Dr. Stuart McGill’s work for more on the spine and core.

    Glad to see someone saying that even the mighty bench press is potentially harmful to rotator cuffs, which is correct.

  • Alex Richardson

    What you do get right in here, is the fitness training principle of variation. Your body becomes accustom to a routine generally 6-8weeks in- so every two months or so you should be changing up your workouts- this does NOT mean eliminating working out muscle groups. It just means progressing to more difficult workouts, as well as keeping you interested and motivated.

    Im just finishing up my undergrad in kinesiology with a specialization in muscular physiology

    • Vserp

      Eventually you will plateau in terms of “difficult” workouts. You don’t really need variation at all actually, if you are shooting for growth just use heavier weight and different set and reps.

      It’s all simple push/pull, you can never do something besides that.

  • TrueProphecy22

    I was able to hold the plank for 60 seconds the first time I tried it… and I certainly was not what you would call “fit.”

  • http://twitter.com/NoToNoMeatballs Jaded McGee

    What a joke. Only the knee extension information is partly correct. Yeah, any true body/power lifter can do away with the bench press (can you see me rolling my eyes?). Bench press only builds your chest, shoulders, and tri’s! If you truly want to build strength and muscle, incorporate a variety of compound exercises. That is, exercises that work multiple body parts at the same time. Examples, bench press, squat, dead lift, cleans, etc. Also, you know your body better than any fake yahoo fitness expert. You know what works for you and what doesn’t. I see person after person do a billion bicep exercises trying to get “big” arms, including preacher curls. That may work for them, but I know it doesn’t work at all for me. preacher curls put an extraordinary amount of unnatural force on my bicep tendon and have caused injuries and tendinitis for me. I find that doing pulling motions (barbell rows, dumbbell rows, t-bar rows, etc) do much more for building bigger biceps than any curling exercise I’ve ever done. As do triceps exercises. Want bigger arms? Smash those tri’s! Lastly, I’ve also learned through years of exercising, I’ve never recovered from a workout faster than when I cut way, WAY back on protein intake and began eating a vegan diet. Trust me, folks. For years, I was the guy buying a 5lbs tub of ON Gold Standard protein every 2-3 weeks. You don’t need it. I stopped eating protein shakes, stopped eating dairy, stopped eating animal meat or products of any kind and couldn’t believe how quickly I recovered after a workout. All that protein is a lie. It’s predicated by the meat industry to make money. Try it and prove me wrong. I was a skeptic too, until I went vegan. The proof is in the results.

  • Anonymous

    Situps and crunches are unhealthy for your back. PERIOD! Doing situps and crunches is a perfect way to herniate a disc in your spine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.mattera.3 David Mattera

    The Problem with “tradition crunch” is that your abs don’t work like your biceps you have to stretch you abs to grow them. Other than that one exercise these are all good.
    Flat Bench Is frowned Upon because of the joint problems that come with incorrect form. All these exercises are good with proper form and weight.

  • RockyWeiller

    Squats, Deadlifts, Bench and Push Press, the Core Four! The staples for any real mans workout routine!

  • Mike from Novi

    Most people with great abs also have no body fat, or hasn’t anybody noticed this?

  • stephen dl

    im a personal trainer. yes, you can quit planks and progress to a more advanced workout. I don’t believe there should be an article telling people NOT to do them though. Planks are one of the most fundamental and important core workouts. They activate the TVA and draw all your organs inward, and they strengthen the base you use for almost all other exercises. If you get tired of planks, try birddogs or plank variations, but you should go back to them sometime :D

  • Greg

    I can do the plank for days. I once fell asleep doing the plank. Got 8 hours of restful sleep and was still in the plank. Sometimes I have my dinner delivered to me while I’m in the plank so I can eat right there. In fact I’m typing this on my laptop and oh yes I am in the plank.

    • Fateh

      LOL so you live your life in plank position

  • sonoftroy

    lol… That is exactly what went through my brain.

  • burnhollywood

    “Crunches only target one small abdominal muscle group, and can also place an undue amount of strain on the back and neck.”

    How much of a strain on the back and/or neck do you get from falling off of a balance ball? And you seem to have forgotten that straight crunches can be combined with twisting crunches and leg raises, rather than just alone.

  • Joe Texas

    Everyone has their own theory of the best exercises to do and the best ways to do them and they change constantly.

    • joe

      exactly!!!

  • Ryan Stoick

    M.S. Ex Phys.-
    First, isometric muscular contractions, (like the plank) produce greater gains in strength compared
    to concentric contractions. Eccentric produce the most strength gains, followed
    by isometric. Next, if a front plank gets to “easy” for you, simply
    add weight to make it more challenging. I have someone lie on my back and hold
    weight on them. Variation
    is needed and you need to train muscle groups equally. You get more with any BB movement than
    DB’s; while DB lifts make a nice addition into a program they certainly should
    not be your base movements.

  • Oldster

    It all depends on your genes.

    • KN

      Wrangler’s or Levi’s? Or does it matter?

  • Anon

    If planks don’t hurt. You’re doing them wrong .. I don’t care what fitness level you’re on

  • HanSw0n

    yeaaaaa girls working out

  • joe

    what bs!!!

  • Co

    I think it’s spelled “planche” actually, is it not?

  • Co

    The reason to do seated leg extensions is to “pre-exhaust” those quadricep muscles so that when you do your squats or leg presses you use more of the other leg muscles. It is a technique touted by Mike Menser.

  • Legend79

    She looks a lot like Rachel McLish, a pioneer in Womans BB, and Fitness. She was SUPER Hot! Not sure whatever happened to her.

  • http://darkangelights2009.tumblr.com/ darkangelights

    I do many of those

  • abcdefgqwerty

    Yeah its kind of silly I mean any exercise is good exercise unless your trying to be next mr/mrs universe even if its not super efficient

  • curly2

    “Ultimately, once you can hold the plank or any other variation for 60 seconds or more it’s time to change.”…Meanwhile the guy in the video is talking about holding it for a minute and a half to five minutes…Which is supposedly a waste of time, right? Which one is it?

  • buck

    To all the grammar people that commented. ” WTF? I read comments to see what people think, not to see fighting.

  • George

    there is nothing sexier than the stomach of a girl like the girl in the picture… WOW

  • Dereck Smith

    I’d like to see what scientific evidence back’s this article. I just don’t agree and neither do my followers on Google+ (+Phat2Fitness)

  • Andre Da’Giant ™

    I can’t believe this, but it makes sense!

  • Jennifer Velasquez

    Lunges!

  • speclous

    The conversation on correct grammar posted here is a helluva knee slapper…Yew guyz r funny!

  • Nottheusual1

    Don’t forget the pizza press. Important for maintaining the flabious maximus group when done to rippin’ excess.

  • Gail Lynch

    If regular crunches worked so well, all of us would be walking around with six pack abs. They hurt the neck too. For some people even putting pressure on the back on the neck will send them to the pill bottle, or surgery. I know someone who had back, and neck surgery, and she is pretty restricted as to what exercises she can do for her abs, that includes no ab crunches.

  • Mike Pants

    It’s really hilarious when you go from one site to another and read these posts. One site trumpets “Totally overrated!!” and another screams “You MUST do this!!” Bottom line, if it’s working for you, keep doing it. If it’s not, change. Stop listening to what other people tell you is overrated or not.

  • G

    Would have been nice to see the exercises one should do instead of shouldn’t do.

  • ajc26

    remove chest press?? really?? this does not make any sense… this is one of the best exercise move there is…burn a ton of calories

  • jesse

    very few of you in the comments know what you are talking about, planks are not meant for burning calories but stabilizing and strengthening your core to help you do virtually every compound lift out there. And all of these “overrated” exercises are still useful, you just need to switch things up or make things more challenging. And bench press should not be taken out, you should in some way always use a press for chest and switch it up when needed, not stop it as a whole. If you’re looking to lose weight, stop assuming its things like planks and weights that will do it and change your diet. Just for reasoning, I am certified by NASM for personal training, but most of this is just common sense and basic knowledge.

    • Tobias P McSnerd

      “Virtually every compound lift out there” already strengthens your “core”, no supplemental isometrics needed. Core is nothing but a bogus marketing concept. There is no way to exercise the core independent of the periphery and no need to even think about it if you do compound lifts properly.

  • EnderForge

    they are just saying what you want to hear even though its not true the best way to be fit is to exercise

  • Jay

    “Basically the bench press does have its place in a properly structured
    program. Just make sure not to make it your main focus every time you
    hit the gym.”

    Forget alot of proven routines that include this.

    • Memphis Viking

      Funny that they have the sentence “Basically the bench press does have its place in a properly structured
      program” in an article titled “5 Most Overrated Exercises You Can Stop Doing”.

  • Alan Weatherly

    You need to constantly vary your exercise routine each time you do your fitness whether it’s at home or the gym. This is the foundation of crossfit. Be fit and prepared for anything, The body and mind tend to be lazy so you have to challenge it by doing differ things.

    • Londonview

      Crossfit is a dangerous programme which leads to countless injuries. Its emphasis on speed and weight combined with complicated compound exercises is a recipe for disaster, as demonstrated by the numerous lawsuits in the US.

      I would NOT recommend Crossfit to anyone …. fads don’t work longterm. What is needed is a serious analysis of one’s individual requirements (taking into consideration one’s health and fitness level), and plan a comprehensive workout bases around compound lifts.

    • Tobias P McSnerd

      100% wrong. This is the fundamental flaw of Crossfit. On the contrary, in order for the body to adapt to a stress, it needs to be pretty much the same thing each time with progressive loading. It’s the gradual increase that prevents your body from getting “lazy”. Building muscle is like building a skin callus. If you do the same thing in a moderate enough dose and gradually increase you get a callus, if you do randomly different, super-intense things every time, you get blisters and skin tears.

      Studies have been done on Crossfit. Surveys find injury rates of over 70%. A controlled 10 week study found improvements in VO2max and fat loss, but no strength gain, and an astronomical 16% dropout rate due to injury… in ten weeks, with all exercise done under trainer supervision. That’s many times higher than competitive football, even. Insane!

  • evangelical

    You don’t engage your core on leg extensions? Could have fooled me, put the weight up to 250lbs and the whole exercise is full body just to stay in the damn chair. If you have a free weight, put 270+lbs on it and see how much core is involved.

    Also, leg extensions are the only way to focus on the knee and bring the quads down far enough into the knee to give it added protection.

    As for Bench, 20% of your chest exercise is recommended to be the flat bench, meaning you can’t “do away with it”. What’s with all these dorky articles making stupid suggestions to get a viewing audience.

  • evangelical

    It’s Refrigerator Lat Pulls, Beer Bottle Hammer curls, and Pop Tart Box Jumps….just to make them match the gym a little better…

  • evangelical

    Crunches tighten your hip flexors and hide the abs. Vince Gironda proved this.

    • Jeff Steinbeck

      They’re bad for your back…You can do a million of them for all I care.

  • shaylynnvacca321

    my Aunty Mila recently got
    Audi Q5 Hybrid by working parttime from a macbook… here are the findings
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  • Londonview

    The exercise pictured above is NOT the Hanging Knee Raise. The fact that the subject isn’t “hanging” should have been a clue!

  • James Patrick Brennan

    I have been c. 160 lbs for 20 years and around 140 for the previous 20. I am 6′. I do simple things; I used to walk to work practically every day (four miles/one hour) for thirty years before I retired. I continue to do so. I have never taken supplements. I eat well, a varied diet, with nothing that I like excluded, other than processed foods. I eat meat, chicken, pasta, fish all in moderation and only what I like. I like certain types of vegetables and I love potatoes in any form, except chips. Why be miserable eating something that is supposed to be good for you but you dislike. There are plenty other substitutes. Life is too short to be depriving oneself of something that is natural. My philosophy is, ‘if you like it, it is nutritious, not processed, eat in moderation’. I have always been healthy, but there are bits beginning to fall off now due to my age; 68. So what? Life is for living. I sometimes drink red wine ( I consider myself a wine connoisseur; my wife disputes that) and Guinness to excess, but I always swear ‘never again’ until the next time. I love reading; have over 500 books in my library; interchange between history and novels. I carry a book with me everywhere. Currently reading Wu Ch ‘ Eng-En’s ‘Monkey’ (written in the 1600′s) and in the background (one of 25) awaits ‘The Last Valley’ by Martin Windrow (a history of France in Indo China up to Dien Bien Phu). Think simple, mind your money, but spend it as you cannot take it with you.

  • louise

    What you on about idiot American! there is no such thing as European English, it is called English and is spoken in England only! American-english is just your interpreted way of saying stupid things and having an excuse to do so!

    • shawn door

      louise, you definitely forgot about Ireland (northern Ireland and ROI – republic of Ireland)…and the UK … Northern Ireland and England are in UK… so stop calling someone an idiot unnecessarily

    • drattastic

      Are you sure calling someone an idiot isn’t”hate speech”in the UK ? Can’t you be arrested for not being PC there ? And you call an American an idiot ? Speaking one dialect of English or another is the least of your problems.

  • Grudzien

    Bench press, if done correctly is an essential compound in any lifting/strength athlete regiment, as well as body building – while they run the risk of a torn pectoral or shoulder injury if they don’t practice good form.

    You can add weight to planks, making them more effective – or simply implement the “up and down plank”
    Hanging leg raises, while not the most effective exercise for a strength athlete, are borderline essential for highly sought after V tapered abs

    And finally, leg extension – your argument is moot as you devalue it for being an isolation exercise. Assuming an individual has an understanding of the importance of the squat, leg extensions can be added as an invaluable accessory for strength athletes with quad dominant (narrow) squats, or even front squats. Not to mention it’s a useful exercise for developing an inner quad “tear drop” as well as overall leg development.

  • Kalax03

    plus i find them even better than the classic chrunches hurt the lower back and dont hit abs hard