Friday 22 September 2017

These are the six exercises that personal trainers never do in the gym - and you might be surprised

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Olivia Petter

Are you beach body/bikini babe/seasonal cliché ready?

As August gets under way and we become a nation knee-deep in sunburn and rosé, the nagging “getting in shape” jingle rears its lithe-limbed head.

With more “#fitspo bloggers littering our social feeds with avant-garde workout routines and nifty gym moves that resemble a scene out of cirque du soleil, it can be all to easy to be seduced into a Valencia-filtered mindset whereby anyone with a smartphone and an Instagram account becomes a bonafide expert.

In reality, all any old Joe Bloggs has to do is think up a punchy portmanteau, start posting workout clips, write "personal trainer" in their bio and bish bash bosh, they've got a following and subsequently, a career. Ah, the internet.

When it comes to figuring out what to do in the gym, it's best to follow professional advice. We asked the real personal trainers to share the things they wouldn't do.

Tuck jumps

"They are extremely high impact and can very easily lead to knee and ankle injuries," personal trainer and fitness blogger Zanna Van Dijk told The Independent. "I personally never do them, even as a trainer myself, as they're so risky," she said.

Smith machine squats

"Smith machines are meant to help you squat safely, but really they just do the opposite," online coach Jon Venus told The Independent. "It doesn't allow for a natural bar path as you would get in a regular squat, which forces you into unsafe positions, often with excessive load on the hips and lower back," the Vivo Life ambassador explained.

Kipping pull-ups

"A CrossFit favourite, kipping pull-ups are designed to help you get more reps, but at the same time put incredible pressure on the shoulder joint," Venus revealed. "They also don't engage the lats properly like regular pull-ups, so are not effective for building muscle. If you can't do regular pull ups, use an assisted pull up machine or focus on negatives," the plant-based trainer said.

Behind the neck pull-downs

"The pre-requisites for this movement are so high, that again, from a risk to reward ratio, this exercise is one to be avoided," Verena Stefanie Grotto told The Independent. "Any lack of mobility, in the thoracic or shoulder girdle will mean, when performing this exercise, you will need to take your spine out of alignment. Sticking to normal  pull-down variations, just changing the grip you perform it with, has a higher reward than putting your body into a compromising situation," the personal trainer at Equinox explained.

Upright rows

"From a risk versus reward perspective, I would highly suggest leaving this exercise out of your program," Stefanie Grotto continued. "An upright row is aimed to work your shoulder, in particular the upper portion of the trapezius (muscles in the upper back). There is a risk of overworking this muscle which, for all intents and purposes, is likely to be overworked anyway - especially if you have a desk job, which most of us do. Adding lateral and front raises target similar movement and muscles, without the risk of injury."

Cardio for weightloss

Whilst slaving away on the treadmill for hours might seem like the thing to do to shed the pounds, Equinox personal trainer Jonathan Dick explains that it should be a "last resort". "It's something that can be tagged on to your weight loss program when you have exhausted all other variables," he told The Independent.

"It is common to hear people rave about how cardio will burn more calories than weight training - this is only half true. Yes, in a single session cardio is likely to burn more calories than a strength session. However, what strength training will do for you, that cardio will not, is ramp up your metabolism for up to 36 hours whilst your body uses the protein, vitamins and minerals you have provided it with to repair the muscles after lifting heaving weights."

Independent News Service

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