Getting started with a new gym routine can be challenging and stressful. You're starting to break old habits and develop new ones that will change the rest of your life, which is why you don't need to start with exercises that are incredibly hard to execute. They will only add stress to your routine and increase your chances of failure. When you enter a commercial gym you'll have many "gurus" telling you that you need to start doing the following exercises. These exercises aren't bad exercises they just take a great deal of coordination and mobility. There are many exercises that need to be executed and learned prior to starting these ones.
5 exercises to avoid
1. Overhead Squats
- The overhead squat is a very technical lift that involves a large amount of mobility and body awareness. When any weight is lifted overhead you need to ensure your technique isn't lacking. Focus on perfecting other squat variations before attempting this exercise, and when you feel competent look into hiring a coach for a few sessions.
- A lot of coaches will insist performing the barbell snatch is a great way to develop a lot of young athletes. I definitely disagree on this, if you're an inexperienced lifter you shouldn't be focusing on a movement that takes Olympic level athletes years to perfect. There is a reason why athletes compete in strictly the snatch and clean & jerk, they are very technical lifts and there is no reason you need to be incorporating them into your routine.
3. Upright Rows
- Without a doubt, upright rows effectively target your shoulder muscles, but the problem is many people can't effectively execute the exercise properly. Dr. John Rusin states if you have healthy shoulders, perfect posture, and perfect technique the exercise can be added to your routine, but it is highly unlikely that you have all 3 of those.
- We've written about this before (click here) if you're someone who does hundreds of crunches per day you aren't training effectively and you are putting yourself at risk. Crunches involve a great deal of spinal flexion and if your technique isn't close to perfect you may be putting yourself at risk.
5. Smith Machine Leg Press
- I know I said not all these exercises are bad in my first paragraph but I take that back, there is no reason to be doing these. This exercise confuses me, I see a lot of people putting hundreds of pounds on a smith machine, lying on their backs, un-racking it (somehow), and pressing it. This machine itself was not designed for this specific movement and you are putting yourself at risk everytime you do it.
So which exercises are right for you? That depends on many factors and if you are completely unsure you should talk to a coach about getting a few sessions to get started. We believe great beginner programs are built these templates and consist of these compound movements. Don't be afraid to reach out we would love to help you get started. Click here to get started today.