Updated: 2021, Jun 4

10 Hopeless Exercises That Are Wasting Your Time

We are all aware that regular exercises are good for our overall wellbeing. However, not all exercises are beneficial and engaging in some can only be a waste of time. Though fitness experts recommend regular exercises, it is important to distinguish between workouts that come with benefits and those that are unworthy or can lead to injuries. Here are some of the hopeless exercises that are stealing your time:

10 Hopeless Exercises That Are Wasting Your Time

1. Smith Machine Squats

With this exercise, the machine locks your body in a path of motion. This could be entirely wrong for your body, particularly if you are taller or shorter than the ideal fit of the Smith Machine. You might end up injuring your back, knee or hip as a result of the extra strain. Although the machine comes with a self-spotting mechanism, it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t end up crumpling on the floor with a huge weight on your back. Injury can also happen if the apparatus doesn’t fit your body form.

See Also: Bulgarian Split Squat: Benefits And How To Do It?

2. Seated Abductor and Adductor Machine Exercises

Other than looking awkward in the gym, abductor/abductor machines are ineffective in developing the intended muscles including inner and outer core of your thighs. Although these machines work the muscles in isolation, they are designed to work in coordination with the rest of your body to make your legs more stable. It’s for these reasons that fitness expert, Jordan Syatt, recommends focusing on free weight exercises.

3. Focusing Only on Machines

Machines have their place in almost every workout routine, they have weight stacks, levels and hinges to provide a safe environment among its users. However, machines are made differently with some having questionable benefits and potential to increase the risk of injury. Such are best left out in your fitness routine unless with the help of an experienced personal trainer or strength coach.

Focusing Only on Machines

4. Stationary Bicycle

If you are not taking a group cycle class at your local gym, stationary bicycle can be boring or offer limited workout. Although stationary bicycles offer cardio workouts targeting your lower body, they neglect your upper body and burn fewer calories than other forms of exercise equipment’s. In addition, stationary bicycles exercises are performed indoors, depriving the practice in required to manage weather and terrain.

5. Weighted Side Bends

In reference to Pat Downey, founder of Vantedge Performance in Woburn, Massachusetts, weighted side bends puts your spine in a vulnerable position, especially when dealing with heavy weights. Since your back is designed to resist movement, weighted side bends trains your core the wrong way by creating the movements. Plus, weighted side bends don’t facilitate burning of fat on the sides of your belly and can even broaden your stomach.

6. Spending a Lot of Time on Cardio

Although cardio exercises are good for the health of your heart, spending too much time on such activities can be disadvantageous. Since cardio workouts stimulate parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, overstimulation can reduce recovery time and lower performance. Too much cardio can also contribute to muscle loss, stress and fitness imbalance. In addition, long- term endurance training has been shown to lower levels of testosterone, lean body mass and bone density.

Spending a Lot of Time on Cardio

7. Traditional Crunches

Overuse of traditional crunches is the primary mistake that most people make with sit ups. By continually bending the spine, there is an increased risk of back injury, according to University of Waterloo research. In addition, regular performance of a large number of sit ups can contribute to spine damage.

8. Doing Excessive Warm Up

Warm up usually involves stretching muscles to a given length for a certain period prior to more intense training. When done in excess, warm up can cause injury and pain. Plus, it can also elevate your body temperature and lower performance when engaging in more vigorous activities. Warming up for too long can also be a waste of time that could have been used in boosting your performance in your training program.

Doing Excessive Warm Up

9. Partial Squats

Partial squats are easy to perform but are of no benefits to your body. They can increase the risk of pain in the knees later in life. Partial squats have been linked injuries of the lower back or lumbar, especially in people who lean too far forward during the movement. However, squatting properly strengthens your knees, thigh muscles and prevents injury.

10. Triceps Kickbacks

This is a common triceps exercise you will find in most health clubs and fitness facilities simply because they are easy to set up and perform. Although they are claimed to be effective, the greatest resistance doesn’t occur at the point of maximal contraction. This means that the triceps don’t get stressed unless when the weight travels more vertically than horizontally. This means that triceps kickbacks only effectively work through a very small range of motion.


Not all exercises are worth your time. Some can be beneficial while others can only work effectively with a lot of proficiency and training. Always check with your fitness instructor to find out the ideal exercises to help you reach your workout goals without putting you at the risk of injury.

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Evan Jensen, CPT

Evan Jensen is a renowned American Nutritionist, Diet Expert and health writer. He specializes in writing about health, fitness, nutrit

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