Skip Nav
Calorie Breakdowns
This Is How Many Jumping Jacks You Need to Do to Work Off Halloween Candy
Workout Clothes
Workout Headphones That Will Actually Stay in Your Ears — Finally!
10-minute Workouts
Warning: This Workout Will Wake Up Muscles You Didn't Know Existed

Least Effective Exercises Revealed: Part One

A little while back we went through the seven most effective exercises from WebMD, and so I thought it would be interesting to counter it with their least effective exercises.

Here are highlights:

  • Lat pull-down behind the head. This exercise is done sitting on a machine with a weighted, cabled bar overhead. You reach for the bar, then pull it down behind your head and neck. Only people with very mobile shoulder joints can keep their spines straight enough to do this exercise properly.
  • Military press behind the head. In this exercise, you lift the weights or barbell starting from behind the head at shoulder level, and press up and down behind the head. It can cause the same problems the behind-the-head lat pull does and should be avoided, says Warpeha. It's also wiser to choose an exercise that targets several muscle groups at once, rather than putting all the strain on the shoulders.

There are more you may be doing so


  • Upright row. Pulling weights, a barbell, or a weighted cabled bar up under your chin is a big no-no, says Saremi, a podiatrist and editorial staff member of the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America's American Fitness magazine. "When people pull their hands (carrying the weight) up to their chin, they are going to compress the nerves in the shoulder area, impinging the shoulder," Saremi says.
  • Lying leg press with knees bent too deeply. Lying on your back with your feet on a weighted plate, you push the plate up and bring it down, with the aim of working the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. The problem with this exercise comes when you bend your legs too far. Your spine cannot maintain proper alignment when your legs come back too far, so the pelvis tilts and the lower back begins to take over. And the weight used is usually heavy enough to injure the back, causing strain to muscles or damage to disks. In addition, says exercise physiologist and fitness consultant, Joseph Warpeha, bending your knees too deeply can injure or damage your knees.

Luckily I don't do any of these. What about you guys?


ktgrl1818 ktgrl1818 9 years
yay i dont do any of these!
rumpel2 rumpel2 9 years
i dont do any of these...i do the lat pull down and military press in front of the head...
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
Interesting! Why would these exercises be taught in gyms if they're not effective? Surely the trainers would want their clients to get good results, so they could get good tips/bonus and referrals! lol
ella1978 ella1978 9 years
I have done military presses and the upright row. I do lots of leg presses, but no idea if I'm going down to far. I try to stay at 90 degrees after the inital push off on the "down side of the rep".. I hope that's right, man do I love leg presses, great bum workout!
ccsugar ccsugar 9 years
I agree, Shleebs. I do upright rows and have never experienced discomfort.
Allie1506 Allie1506 9 years
I am good, I don't do any!
Shleebs Shleebs 9 years
I do the leg press as well as the lat pulldowns-- but I also know proper form (and, for the latter exercise, happen to have extremely mobile shoulder joints). From the sounds of this article, these exercises are only noneffective if you do them improperly... which could go for basically any exercise.
latent latent 9 years
I do the upright row, because it strengthens muscles I use for climbing.
jelibeann jelibeann 9 years
I'm always careful to keep my knees behind my toes with the lying leg press - but I'm sad to hear about the lat pull down - I loved that one! I'll pass from now on.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I always get face twitches when I did the upright row. Well not twitches but my lip would curl involuntarily. Other then that I don't do any of these.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
Thanks for the tips, Fit. Luckily, I don't do any of these, but if there are more, be sure to let us know. I hate wasting time and effort!
mfern64 mfern64 9 years
Good to know. I've stepped up my workouts and it's helpful to know what is a waste of time. Although, I like the behind the head military press. It feels good.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Oh wow I do the military press behind the head... I thought it was GOOD for me... :(
loux2 loux2 9 years
If you only bring the upright row to your chest/nipple line is that okay?
David Kirsch Workout Tips
Tips to Gain Weight
How to Buy the Right Sports Bra For Big Busts
Mom Got Trolled For Working Out at Target
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds