Yes, your mother was right. Just because “everybody’s doing it” doesn’t mean it’s a good idea or even a useful exercise.
In the exercise world, I see it all of the time. People doing popular exercises and engaging in fitness trends that actually do nothing for health. It’s true!
Here are some common exercises to avoid. And, what to do instead if you want real results.
5 Exercises to Avoid
1. Butt Blaster
Why It’s an Exercise to Avoid— it really does no good because people using this machine are most likely trying to spot reduce. Spot reducing is a myth, and the butt blaster machine is no different. Additionally, the angle of exertion, coupled with the position of your body, does not allow you to lift significant weight (i.e., the amount you’d need to tone your muscles).
What to Do Instead— try doing squats, lunges, leg press, and hamstring curls. These exercises will help shape, tone, and strengthen all your leg muscles while at the same time helping you burn significant calories. Burning extra calories will help you shed the fat you need to reveal the sleek and shapely lower body you’re seeking.
2. Sauna Suit
Why It’s Useless— it doesn’t help you lose weight permanently and may be super uncomfortable to wear in the process. The idea is to sweat out a lot of body water, which will help you to temporarily lose weight. Don’t be fooled, though. This type of weight loss is not permanent. As soon as you resume your normal intake of fluids, that weight you sweated away will come back with a vengeance.
What to Do Instead— try doing some high intensity interval training (HIIT) for maximum fat burning. Then, if you want to sweat it out afterwards, take some time in the sauna. This way, you’ll not only actually burn calories and enjoy extra calorie burning long after your exercise session is over, but you’ll enjoy sweating out any remaining toxins in the sauna as well. It’s the best of both worlds and probably the original idea behind the sauna suit.
3. Rotary Torso Machine
Why It’s an Exercise to Avoid— it’s not only useless, it may even be dangerous. Adding weight while twisting your spine is a recipe for injury. And using this machine is not going to bring out your 6-pack anytime soon. Again, good old-fashioned healthy nutrition, coupled with some proper ab training, will be much more useful when it comes to tightening up your middle.
What to Do Instead— try doing side bends with a small dumbbell in each hand. This will effectively work your side abdominal regions (called your obliques). You can also try doing a “woodchopper” movement on a cable machine.
4. Waist Trainer
Why It’s an Exercise to Avoid— a waist trainer is really nothing more than a glorified corset. Studies show there is no evidence that points to added fat loss in the waist area or any permanent changes to the distribution of fat. So, where is the benefit to using these trendy waist trainers? It appears the main benefit comes from helping people feel differently. When they feel slimmer, they end up carrying themselves with more confidence and feel better about themselves and their bodies.
Yes, there is something to be said for that, but for more permanent results you can feel good about long-term, you’re better off trying the following.
What to Do Instead— first and foremost, try monitoring your nutrition. You can’t lose weight exclusively from your abdominal region. So, even if you wear a device that helps you sweat it out, you’ll only be losing water weight temporarily. A nutrition plan that enables you to slowly lose body fat over time, coupled with foods that reduce bloat.
5. Thigh Master
Why It’s an Exercise to Avoid— again, folks using the old Thigh Master were most likely trying to spot reduce their inner thighs. As it turns out, the inner thigh muscles worked by this device are quite small, and toning them will not make a significant difference in the shape or size of your thighs, nor will using this burn many calories at all.
What to Do Instead— working your legs as a whole with light weights and high repetitions will be much more useful than the Thigh Master when it comes to getting results. Try doing both front lunges and side lunges, with or without weight.
So, the bottom line is to skip the popular trends you see everyone else following and go with tried and true exercises that actually work. There may be some shortcuts here and there, but when it comes to fitness, hard work and perseverance are the way to go, every time.