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Maximise your time at the gym by switching to these exercises

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Some go to the gym in hopes of achieving a figure worthy of a magazine cover, but what they might not be aware of is that some of the most popular gym exercises don’t do a great deal towards helping them achieve their aims.

Here are some exercise machines and their corresponding moves that you can consider skipping if you want to optimise your time at the gym:

Seated Abductor and Adductor Machine

There is a reason why nobody likes the abductor machine – it looks awkward when you do it, and it’s not as useful as you think.

The seated abductor is an isolation exercise that many falsely believe will lead to the “melting off” of fat from their inner and outer thighs, but the move targets such a small area that you’re barely working out at all. If you’re looking to strengthen the thigh area, you should be looking to work more muscle groups.

Opt for lunges, which is a compound move that engages more muscles and burns calories faster. You’ll be working all of the muscles in the legs that naturally function together, and the move is perfect for bringing your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and even abs into play. As you get stronger, you can intensify your lunges with a barbell or some dumbbells.

gymPhoto: Shutterstock

Roman chair sit-ups

You might be seeking strong abs, but carrying out Roman chair sit-ups only helps you work a minimal amount of abdominal muscles – your hip flexors are doing most of the work, and the repeated up and down movements on your hips can create stress on your spine. Although many won’t experience any issues with that, some might develop lower-back pain from doing Roman chair sit-ups.

Instead, you should target abdominal muscles by doing planks. The plank is one of the best exercises for a toned tummy as it works the muscles in your core, the internal and external obliques, hips, and the back. It also helps reduce back pain due to the strengthening of the core.

However, do not let your spine sag while doing planks as this can cause neck and back pain. If you feel that your core is not strong enough, hold the plank in shorter intervals in the right form – rather than longer intervals with improper form.

gymPhoto: Shutterstock

Triceps kickbacks

While carrying out tricep kickbacks, you’ll find it hard to increase the weight you’re bearing without suffering in form, and it is thus not an ideal exercise if you’re looking for results. Once you begin struggling to fully extend your forearm or your upper arm begins sagging towards the floor, the effectiveness of the exercise is greatly diminished.

Instead of tricep kickbacks, you can try out a skull-crusher or do a good old push-up.  The skull-crusher is an effective upper-body isolation move that you can do with barbells or dumbbells. It is a targeted tricep exercise that will help you get rid of dreaded arm flab.

The pushup is a strength-building workout that helps you access many muscle groups. You exercise the chest, abdominals and lower back, while building strength in the quadriceps – plus you can do it anytime at home without any equipment!


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