Exercise! - 10 Most Ineffective Exercises




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Ilene
04-09-2006, 09:06 PM
Jillybean posted this in another thread and Meg and I thought it was very appropriate for the Exercise forum... Happy reading :D...

10 Most Ineffective Exercises
By Raphael Calzadilla, B.A., CPT, ACE
Glee Contributor
Updated: Sunday, April 9, 2006

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." -Albert Einstein

What if you suddenly found out that every workout you’ve been doing for months and months was unsafe, inefficient and graphically illustrated in the imaginary encyclopedia of bone head exercises?

We tend to look at certain areas on our body with disgust and anxiety. We look for quick fixes and the magical exercise that will solve all of our problems. That’s why infomercials sell “5 minute exercise solutions,” and love to prey on our weak emotional states and lack of knowledge related to physiology. Let’s get to the point: There are exercises that just plain stink. They’re inefficient, have a high injury risk and provide practically zero benefit.

The following list of exercises may surprise you. Consider your surprised reaction a step in the right direction. Here’s my top 10 most ineffective exercises list: This is by no means an exhaustive list - there are a lot more.

1. Adductor Machine -- The adductor machine is the exercise unit that you sit in while placing the inner part of your legs against a pad. You then push the legs toward each other, with the goal of reducing your inner thighs. Maybe you perform 20, 30 or even more reps to affect the area. This exercise will not reduce your inner thighs. You’d need enough resistance to create an impact on the muscle, so more than 15 reps aren’t going to accomplish anything. More importantly, it’s not the best range or plane of motion (direction) to affect the inner thigh.

2. Abductor Machine -- The abductor machine is the opposite of the adductor. In this case, you sit in the machine and place the outer part of your legs against a pad. You then push your legs away from each other, in the hopes of reducing your outer thigh area. Pushing the legs outward accomplishes very little for the outer thigh. Again, the plane of motion is ineffective. You say you can feel this machine? I can also feel my chest muscles if I perform a dumbbell press very slowly with a pair of five pound dumbbells, but that doesn’t mean it’s accomplishing my goal. There’s more to the puzzle than just feeling it.

3. Standing or Bent Over Twist -- Ever see someone in the gym with a broomstick behind their head twisting endlessly from left to right? The person mistakenly assumes that twisting for hundreds of reps will shrink the waist and decrease the size of the oblique muscles (love handles). This movement inefficiently affects the spinal erectors and places stress on ligaments. It provides no slimming effect on the “love handles”.

4. Upright Rows -- In this exercise, one grasps a barbell with hands approximately four inches apart, with palms facing the body. Standing in an upright position, the bar is pulled all the way up to the neck. The objective is to strengthen the upper trapezius muscles (the muscles at the base of the neck).

Internationally known research scientist, Michael Colgan, refers to this as a “bone head exercise,” in his book, The New Power Program, and I totally agree. The exercise puts undue stress on the very sensitive rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder and can easily cause injury.

5. Side Bends -- Grasping dumbbells and bending side to side in the hopes that the oblique muscles (love handles) will shrink, may actually make the area larger if you use heavy enough dumbbells. Is that what you want? Toss this exercise out the window. The only thing that’s going to get those ‘love handles” smaller is reducing overall body fat through cardiovascular exercise, brisk weight training and last but not least, a calorie reduced diet.

6. Behind The Neck Lat Pulldowns for the Back -- Performing this cable pulldown movement puts unnecessary stress on the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulders. I can’t begin to count the number of people who’ve experienced injuries from this and any behind the neck movement.

7. Shoulder Press Behind Neck -- Not only is this an unstable position, but it can lead to inflammation, pain in the shoulder and major rotator cuff injuries. The shoulder joint is extremely complex and much like the knee joint, easily prone to injuries. Lifting an object over the head while it sits behind the neck isn’t even a functional (every day) movement.

8. Straight Legged Sit Ups -- Performing straight legged sit ups (knees locked and extended) puts a lot of stress on the lower spine, and the jerky type movement required to lift from the floor can result in injury. According to Wayne Westcott, PhD., Fitness Research Director at the South Shore YMCA in Boston, "in a routine where any abdominal exercise movement places stress on the back, the risks outweigh the potential benefits.”

9. Seated Rotation Machine --These machines are found in gyms and people use them in the hopes of shrinking the waist line. In fact, you’ll usually see people rotating left and right on these machines for hundreds of repetitions. It does not shrink the waist and can place a great deal of pressure upon the ligaments of the spine.

10. Cardiovascular Exercise: More than 60 Minutes -- I realize you want to lose the most amount of fat in the least amount of time. I can understand that, but if the body can only lose up to two pounds of fat per week before it begins destroying muscle, why are you working out as if you’re attempting to lose five pounds per week? I generally recommend working at a capacity of 70 to 80 percent of your target heart rate. If you’re performing cardio more than 60 minutes at this level of intensity, you’re on a collision course for muscle loss. If you think it’s not important, you may want to re-consider.

I’ve seen people lose well over 100 pounds and lose it very, very fast. They did everything possible to lose weight (fat and muscle), as opposed to losing only fat and sparing muscle. The result is a soft and flabby looking body. Yes, they lost the 100 pounds, but did it in the most inefficient manner possible. The key to your success is not searching for an exercise that will reduce a trouble spot. It’s finding the most efficient exercises that will strengthen the area. Then, the combination of reduced calories, cardiovascular exercise and consistency does the rest of the work.


Raphael Calzadilla has over 14 years of experience as a personal trainer and bodybuilder, earned his B.A. in Communications from Southern Connecticut State University; is certified with ACE, APEX and successfully completed the RTS1 program based on biomechanics.



Ooops almost forgot to add the link: http://www.gleemagazine.com/glee/article.cfm?cmi=1818498&code=29103


fruitster
04-10-2006, 09:20 AM
Wow! At least 3 of these are machines used at Curves. Thanks for this info!

Mel
04-10-2006, 09:35 AM
LOL, this is great. These are most of the exercises that I spend a lot of time trying to talk women out of doing. And the ones that most women race into the gym to do, ignoring most everything else :dizzy:

Mel


Meg
04-10-2006, 09:39 AM
LOL, this is great. These are most of the exercises that I spend a lot of time trying to talk women out of doing. And the ones that most women race into the gym to do, ignoring most everything else :dizzy:

Mel

:rofl: You mean all the ones who do 100 crunches, 100 abductor, 100 adductor and they're out of there?

Seriously, #4 - upright rows - are how I tore my rotator cuff last year, which required surgical repair. They are definitely on my 'never do' list.

kykaree
04-10-2006, 09:57 AM
I'm not as stupid as I thunk I was. My trainer wanted me to do upright rows and it just didn't "feel" right so I didn't do them. Ditto the side bends.

And the adductor/abductor machines, what are they about????

2frustrated
04-10-2006, 10:15 AM
Those "thighmaster" machines! :rofl: I used to "lift" 50kg on them and never saw any improvement in my legs... :chin: Hmm I wonder why!

Apart from that I've not done any of the other exercises - oh wait - no, I did do the twisty thing, seated rotation machine. Some dumb trainer told me to do it :rolleyes:

AnneWonders
04-10-2006, 10:32 AM
I guess I think it is sort of irresponsible to have a blanket statement calling more than 60 minutes of "cardiovasular exercise" as ineffective (for what exactly?) and unsafe. Ok, even I, endurance junkie, will admit that if you're doing 3 step aerobics classes a day or spending 2 hrs straight on the elliptical you might want to rethink it. But "cardio" can also include long walks in the woods with the family, or preparing for a bicycling vacation (my 60+ yr old parents are doing this right now). The key is appropriate intensity, rest, and nutrition. And limiting oneself to one hour of cardio is an extremely ineffective way to train for even a short distance triathlon, a half-marathon, mountain biking, or many other sports. One could argue that these type of sports are not most effective for fat loss and changing body compostion and I wouldn't necessarily disagree, but a long walk in the woods sure might be.

Anne

srmb60
04-10-2006, 11:56 AM
Not only did I once have a thigh master ... I'm a bonehead too! Oi!

I wish that I had realised this ....

Iíve seen people lose well over 100 pounds and lose it very, very fast. They did everything possible to lose weight (fat and muscle), as opposed to losing only fat and sparing muscle. The result is a soft and flabby looking body. Yes, they lost the 100 pounds, but did it in the most inefficient manner possible. The key to your success is not searching for an exercise that will reduce a trouble spot. Itís finding the most efficient exercises that will strengthen the area. Then, the combination of reduced calories, cardiovascular exercise and consistency does the rest of the work.


.... about three years ago. I probably wouldn't be struggling now.

Ilene
04-10-2006, 12:02 PM
Susan -- That was my favourite paragraph in the whole article too...

Tani
04-10-2006, 01:15 PM
I guess I think it is sort of irresponsible to have a blanket statement calling more than 60 minutes of "cardiovasular exercise" as ineffective (for what exactly?) and unsafe.

Anne, this was exactly my thought as well. Because I bike to work on a week day (1 hour cardio) and then take an hour aquacize class at night I'm unsafe?? Or take an afternoon hike after a morning fitness class on the weekend? I think lots of people safely get more than a hour of cardio in a day because they're doing things they enjoy. As long as you're eating enough I don't see a problem.

That quibble aside, it's a nice list. It's especially nice to see the potentially injuring moves listed. (Especially since I'm losing my bike commute in 2 months and will be joining a gym again)

Ready2ShedLBS
04-10-2006, 04:10 PM
Anne, this was exactly my thought as well. Because I bike to work on a week day (1 hour cardio) and then take an hour aquacize class at night I'm unsafe?? Or take an afternoon hike after a morning fitness class on the weekend? I think lots of people safely get more than a hour of cardio in a day because they're doing things they enjoy. As long as you're eating enough I don't see a problem.

That quibble aside, it's a nice list. It's especially nice to see the potentially injuring moves listed. (Especially since I'm losing my bike commute in 2 months and will be joining a gym again)


Your body has a natural cycle.. it burns Carbs first ( always), fat second, and protein ( muscle) third.

Basically, after you burn off carbs, your body goes to fat for energy and then to protein. So it has been decided that after one hour of cardio your body begins to tap into your protein (muscle) stores. This is why runners are so sleek, also this is why they eat mad carbs before a marathon, or what have you. I dont think its hour of cardio A DAY, its one hour at the time, you need to replenish yourself, and THEN do more cardio if you wish. This is also way people who eat low carb lose so much weight is because they pretty much trick their body into burning fat first. Not a good idea if you are an athlete or wanna-be athlete, you need carbs so your body wont result to protein so fast. This is my .02 and what I have read, been told, and scientifically it makes sense.

As for the seated rotation, I got some good results doing that thing. Even my doctor commented on my obliques. I dont do it anymore, but I liked it when I did. Oh well.. lol

Jasmin71
04-10-2006, 05:38 PM
wow,,,,,,scary to think we been doing this at curves.....never knew....uhg!

Misti in Seattle
04-11-2006, 09:05 AM
Okay... I am not questioning this since I am certainly no expert... but why is what ONE person says necessarily more "right" than what hundreds of personal trainers and gym programs teach? :) One of these happens to be very similar to an exercise I have been taught at fitness centers for years and it does certainly make me feel better and more "toned" than most others. I recently started doing it again and don't intend to stop just because some person I've never even heard of before says it. :jig: Don't intend to give up my long walks either!! I am thrilled that I am able to do it again :)

Again... not saying she is wrong; just also not glibly accepting things because she says it. :)

Meg
04-11-2006, 10:19 AM
Couple of thoughts ...

I'm a certified personal trainer (so is Mel ;) ) and work in a gym with a lot of other personal trainers -- and I honestly don't know anyone who teaches that ANY of those exercises are correct or good for you. I'm sure that somewhere, someone is in favor of them, but the exercises listed are pretty accepted in the industry as being ineffective (or dangerous) exercises.

But if you're doing something that makes you feel good and isn't harming you, by all means keep doing it. :) If your exercise program includes lots of other exercises, one exercise isn't going to make all that much difference. :) Just please be sure it's not an exercise that's effective but way too risky, like behind the neck work or upright rows.

About #10 - more than 60 minutes of cardio - lots of good points! Obviously Lance Armstrong or someone who's training for a marathon is going to do more than 60 minutes of cardio a day and it's not harmful or ineffective for their purposes. I think the author of the article was focusing on cardio for fat loss and at an intensity of more than 70-80% of your max heart rate. At more than 60 minutes at that intensity, it's true that you may start burning muscle, which will sabotage your fat loss in the long run.

BUT ... if you're taking long walks or hikes, you're probably not working at that high of an intensity. There's no way that I can walk fast enough to get my heart rate nearly that high - at 4.0 MPH, I barely crack 108, so it's low intensity exercise for me. And low intensity cardio doesn't have the kind of muscle burning implications that higher intensity cardio may have. So enjoy your hikes and long walks - I don't think that's what the author is talking about in #10. ;)

Jayde
04-11-2006, 05:24 PM
Thanks, Meg for explaining how the intensity of the cardio would be more than 70% of your max heart rate for the body to tap into muscle after 60 min of cardio. That makes a lot of sense.

~Shawna~
04-11-2006, 06:44 PM
I can vouch for the 60 minutes of cardio...I do 20 minutes of cardio anywhere between 3-5 times a week depending on my schedule and, except for that rut I was in when I wasn't exercising, I'm averaging a weight loss of about 2-3 pounds per week. That's all I do. I have kids, I have a job, I have housework, I have, I have, I have....20 - 30 minutes a day is all I can offer cuz I don't want the rest of my life to suffer and that 20 - 30 minutes is working for me, so I'm gonna keep doing it.

As for the machines...wow....what an eye opener. So, what do we do then, for those muscle groups??? Just lunges and squats? That's what I've been doing for the last week and a half and man, can I feel those muscles days later!!!

Liya
04-21-2006, 06:54 AM
Your body has a natural cycle.. it burns Carbs first ( always), fat second, and protein ( muscle) third.

Basically, after you burn off carbs, your body goes to fat for energy and then to protein.

Yikes does this mean if I eat a high carb. meal then exercise for less than an hour or so I donít burn fat :?: Is this why some people recommend exercising on an empty stomach? Sorry for all these question but Iím trying to learn as much as I can to do it right.

Thanks
Liya

Meg
04-21-2006, 07:00 AM
Liya - you don't need to be concerned about what your body is burning for fuel. What's important is that when you're exercising, you're burning CALORIES and it all boils down to calories in vs calories out. If you create a calorie deficit by eating less and moving more, your body is forced to tap into its supply of stored fat for energy. In a nutshell, that's how we lose fat. :D

nelie
04-21-2006, 11:44 AM
Last night at the gym, there was a personal trainer who was doing upright rows with one of his clients. I think he even did two different types with her because I noticed it when I got on a machine, then when I got off the machine, he was showing her what looked like another version where her hands were at a 45 degree angle.

Abductor/Adductor machines I love :) At one point I was able to max out the weight on both. I am going to try to do some other inner/outer thigh workouts though. My inner thighs were recently sore for 3 days due to hiking/bouldering/what not. I was surprised but basically figured out that it was probably due to me trying to balance and hug the rocks/boulders with my feet.

As for cardio, I couldn't imagine doing an intense workout for more than an hour. I know endurance athletes have a high percentage of body fat but I always thought it was because too much muscle was a waste and they really needed fat to "go the distance" but I wasn't aware that it was because after an hour they are actually burning their muscle for fuel. For me, I do long hikes but it is really only intense for short bursts and I take breaks.

Liya
04-22-2006, 05:15 AM
Liya - you don't need to be concerned about what your body is burning for fuel. What's important is that when you're exercising, you're burning CALORIES and it all boils down to calories in vs calories out. If you create a calorie deficit by eating less and moving more, your body is forced to tap into its supply of stored fat for energy. In a nutshell, that's how we lose fat. :D

Thanks Meg. BTW Iíve noticed that this is not the first time you help me with my questions (your picture is not easily forgotten) you are definitely a wealth of information :angel:

Liya

Mini-Me
05-01-2006, 01:45 PM
That's a great list. I've never been to curves, but a lot of those exercises are in Slim Series...(upright row, sidbends, etc)

hellcatjill
05-02-2006, 06:34 PM
I personally got good results with the adductor (that's the thighmaster type on, right) machine. Maybe I just had zero muscle there before or something ;) but after doing that machine for a month or so, I REALLY noticed a big increase of muscle. Of course, my thighs aren't SMALLER, so if that's what they mean by not getting results, I guess I'd have to agree, but that machine certainly helped build up my inner thigh muscle (technical, huh? LOL).

But that's the only one I'm going to dispute. :)

sweetchubbychick06
05-04-2006, 12:48 AM
Hi is there any actual excersize that work???

stacylambert
05-04-2006, 03:21 AM
The only thing I think is weird about the article is talking about the exercises not "slimming the area." Strength training is meant for strengthening and building muscle, not slimming down. I'm assuming this article was meant for women only? I've actually started reading men's weightlifting magazines because of this issue. Call me crazy, but I actually WANT some big muscles :)

Meg, I have a question for you!

The latest workout I've been doing (from Muscle & Fitness) includes upright rows. The workout is made up compound exercies including squats, presses, rows, etc. Anyway I was wndering if you could suggest an exercise to replace the upright rows? Thanks :)

srmb60
05-04-2006, 09:30 AM
SweetChubbyChick60 .... you bet there are! Anything you do that is more than you did before is incredibly valuable activity. Anything that gets your heart rate up and I love love love the effect weightlifting is having on my body.

Meg
05-04-2006, 10:35 AM
Stacy - Exrx.net calls upright rows a lateral delt exercise, using front delts secondarily. Odd because I've always thought of them as a front delt exercise? In any event, you can replace upright rows with any other exercise that works the same muscles. Check out the Exrx.net shoulder page (http://www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/ShouldWt.html) for the most complete list of exercises (with nifty little videos ;) ).

Biancaneve
06-15-2006, 04:45 AM
Wow! IS it true that you can only lose 2 pounds per week of fat before you start losing muscle? I've heard that that's the safe range to aim for, but I never heard that reason before. If there's still fat there, why doesn't the body keep on using it after two pounds? **puzzled**

Stevi-rocks
06-15-2006, 05:13 AM
I'm gonna second the confusion of "Two pounds per week". Does that mean the weeks I have zero loss then the following week see a 5lb loss, its muscle? My loss is a total roller coaster ride. There is no consistentcy week to week.

Mom2Seany
06-21-2006, 03:07 PM
Meg, i would like to know why the sidebends are ineffective or even dangerous. i just started working out recently and have been doing this exercise with and without dumbells.
thanks.

Meg
06-21-2006, 03:29 PM
Hi Mom2Seany! :wave:

I don't think the author of the article is saying that side bends are dangerous. He's saying that they may be ineffective because people do them in order to reduce their waist circumference, but they can actually have the opposite effect. Side bends done with weights can make your waist thicker, not smaller. The goal of any weighted exercise is to build muscle and adding muscle to your waist will - yep - add inches and make it bigger, not smaller. :eek:

It's exactly the same problem with the abductor and adductor machines, also named in the article. When you isolate and build the muscles in your inner and outer thighs, you're going to make them bigger. Bigger muscles underlying fat will push the fat out and make thighs look bulkier, not slimmer. Some people think that they can hop on the machines and get rid of the fat off their thighs, but we all know that you can't spot reduce away fat. ;)

I personally don't ever do weighted ab exercises - I only use my bodyweight. Here's a good article (http://www.acefitness.org/getfit/abstudy_top.aspx) (with illustrations) about the most effective ab exercises from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) that you might find interesting. In a nutshell, they found:

For strengthening the rectus abdominus, the 13 exercise were ranked most to least effective:

1. Bicycle maneuver
2. Captain’s chair
3. Crunches on exercise ball
4. Vertical leg crunch
5. Torso Track
6. Long arm crunch
7. Reverse crunch
8. Crunch with heel push
9. Ab Roller
10. Hover
11. Traditional crunch
12. Exercise tubing pull
13. Ab Rocker

For strengthening the obliques, the 13 exercise were ranked most to least effective:

1. Captain’s chair
2. Bicycle maneuver
3. Reverse crunch
4. Hover
5. Vertical leg crunch
6. Crunch on exercise ball
7. Torso Track
8. Crunch with heel push
9. Long arm crunch
10. Ab Roller
11. Traditional crunch
12. Exercise tubing pull
13. Ab Rocker

Hope that helps! :)

Mom2Seany
06-21-2006, 04:56 PM
thanks for all the info. i have been doing the vertical leg crunch, the bicycle maneuver and normal ab crunches along with the side bend.

tobetheman
07-15-2006, 08:38 AM
For a second I thought it had said bent over rows, which are okay as far as I know and pretty effective too. I have done upright rows and that is a really dumb exercise for most people. I could only this this helping professional bodybuilders at most, but even then I can't imagine they would use it, cause they are pretty well informed. Any one had any problems with some other common lifts over the years?

Kontessa
08-07-2006, 10:32 PM
I am new to working out and do not know what to call things. I just did my first PUSH work out and they had an ab work out (I think LOL) and Lay flat on the floor with a hand weight on your chest. Legs flat and stay flat. Sit up and lift the weight up into the air and over your head and stretch up.

Is this the flat sit up that is a no-no? (And by the way I can not do without a jerking movement I worry is more in my back then abs.)

Help Please!

UWPiPhiAngel
11-08-2006, 11:25 AM
I've been doing side bends and the thigh machines... guess I better stop! But one thing I don't understand is don't you have to burn off the fat/love handles before your waist starts getting bigger due to muscle gain?

ennay
11-21-2006, 08:48 PM
ok, on the adductor/abductor thing

Are they going to help you lose weight? No, they are very small very strong muscles being worked out.

However they are not "useless", many people have groin or knee instabilities because of weak adductors.

If you like to play any type of sport, these machines can help you not get injured. And not getting injured is VERY important to weight loss.

ennay
11-21-2006, 08:55 PM
I'm gonna second the confusion of "Two pounds per week". Does that mean the weeks I have zero loss then the following week see a 5lb loss, its muscle? My loss is a total roller coaster ride. There is no consistentcy week to week.

No - erratic weight loss is due to changes in water weight. Most people have erratic weight loss, you have to look at the AVERAGE weight loss.

It is not unusual for the body to hoard water while you are losing weight --after all, it assumes you are going to gain it back soon and it might need that water to process the excess calories you will be taking in. After awhile it decides to let it go and fwooosh...5 lbs. I typically lose in a pattern like 0, 0, -1 +1 , -4, +1, -1, 0 0 -4....

As for the 2 lb max statement - thats a pretty broad generalization and dependent on many factors including how much excess weight you have, etc.

Mami
11-30-2006, 01:40 AM
Hellcatjill, that is exactly my view. I agree with all the other points, though I have been doing the upright row on occasion and will now stop (who wants large traps anyway as a women?!), except that I also had very noticeable results from the adductor machine (never noticed much from the abductor though). My thighs were also bigger but it was obviously muscle. Mind you, I did not do 20 to 30 reps, rather I do a max of 15.

Lisa36
12-27-2006, 02:20 PM
What are these 2 exercises....I've never heard of them. (tells you how much time I spend in a gym:(

. Bicycle maneuver
2. Captainís chair

AnAbsoluteDiva
12-29-2006, 05:25 AM
I disagree on 1, 2, 4, and 10.

Training the abductors does yield fabulous results (dimple on the outer part of the leg the way dancers have) and training the adductors (inner thigh) keeps it in balance. (You have to train opposites such as hamstrings and quads, chest and back, biceps and triceps, to achieve balance and reduce injury.) So I think he is off on the abductor/adductor thing. Ask a hockey player or figure skater if abductor/adductor muscles don't need training.

Range of motion is adjusted at the seat. The more you progress in your flexibility training, the more you can adjust the seat to have greater range of motion.

No one has ever suggested that weight training was designed to SHRINK AN AREA. For God's sake, weight training is about developing a muscle under the skin so that when you SHRINK THE AREA WITH FAT LOSS, the muscle will appear.

Upright rows do not work the traps. They work the anterior deltoids and they slam. Look at Madonna's shoulders, or Angela Bassett's shoulders. You will become injured doing ANYTHING if your form is whacked. Even a bicep curl. And yes, even walking.

Cardio - as someone previously said, it's all about the fuel.

Don't believe everything you read without doing the research first.

AnAbsoluteDiva
12-29-2006, 05:31 AM
(who wants large traps anyway as a women?!),

The uprights don't work the traps but I had to tell you that that there is nothing more beautiful than a well-developed back on a woman. To see the traps, the lats, and the rhomboids chiseled out is amazing! And you won't get big because you can't get big. Unless you're mixing testosterone in your tea.

idahotater
01-16-2007, 10:10 AM
1. Adductor Machine -- The adductor machine is the exercise unit that you sit in while placing the inner part of your legs against a pad. You then push the legs toward each other, with the goal of reducing your inner thighs. Maybe you perform 20, 30 or even more reps to affect the area. This exercise will not reduce your inner thighs. Youíd need enough resistance to create an impact on the muscle, so more than 15 reps arenít going to accomplish anything. More importantly, itís not the best range or plane of motion (direction) to affect the inner thigh.

2. Abductor Machine -- The abductor machine is the opposite of the adductor. In this case, you sit in the machine and place the outer part of your legs against a pad. You then push your legs away from each other, in the hopes of reducing your outer thigh area. Pushing the legs outward accomplishes very little for the outer thigh. Again, the plane of motion is ineffective. You say you can feel this machine? I can also feel my chest muscles if I perform a dumbbell press very slowly with a pair of five pound dumbbells, but that doesnít mean itís accomplishing my goal. Thereís more to the puzzle than just feeling it.

Well, darn. If there's time for nothing else I always made time for these two before I left the gym. Ah well.

samanthaf63
02-09-2007, 12:20 PM
Very interesting. I once spent 6 weeks working out faithfully at Women's Workout World and at the end of it, they measured me - half inch here, half inch there - and 2 inches off the waist, which I wasn't even bothering about. Argh!!!!

houseelf
03-16-2007, 09:04 PM
Great list, Meg! My lower abs are very resistant so maybe if I mix it up a bit it will help. Of course, I realize losing excess weight will also help! I can feel muscles under there, they just have a nice soft cover over them right now.

Diva
03-17-2007, 11:45 AM
Okay, my question is this. When we ly on our side on the floor and do the leg lift's for both the inner and outter theighs, are we waisting out time there too? Just about every exercise DVD I have, we do this at the end of the cardio in addition to crunches and stuff. I'm confused now.

As for Curves, I remember they had machines for everyone of then No-no's on the list. I never felt like I got a good enough work out @ Curves and ended up cancelling my membership. I guess I'm a cardio junkie. If I don't get a good sweat, a nice heart rate and become winded (in a good way) I am so not satisfied. I try to get at least 30 minutes to an hour or so of cardio at least 3 to 4 day's a week, more if I can.

handkl
03-17-2007, 02:01 PM
Thanks for this great info.

Ilene
03-17-2007, 05:26 PM
Okay, my question is this. When we ly on our side on the floor and do the leg lift's for both the inner and outter theighs, are we waisting out time there too? Just about every exercise DVD I have, we do this at the end of the cardio in addition to crunches and stuff. I'm confused now.

As for Curves, I remember they had machines for everyone of then No-no's on the list. I never felt like I got a good enough work out @ Curves and ended up cancelling my membership. I guess I'm a cardio junkie. If I don't get a good sweat, a nice heart rate and become winded (in a good way) I am so not satisfied. I try to get at least 30 minutes to an hour or so of cardio at least 3 to 4 day's a week, more if I can.

I personally feel that inner and outer thigh exercises are, useless...
If your goal is to build inner and outer thigh muscle, then unweighted inner/outer leg lifts aren't going to do much because there's no resistance. You need to be working with weights or resistance bands if you're trying to build muscle. If you build muscles under a layer of fat your legs will look bigger.

If you want to spot reduce your thighs in that area, we all know that there's no such thing as spot reducing. Only a low fat diet along with cardio and weight training will reduce your overall body fat, you will look leaner all over. Some areas, such as legs, butt and tummy are the most difficult places to reduce and the fat will be the last place to leave.

If you didn't like Curves maybe a regular gym with a personal trainer to show you some exercises would be your best bet. Lunges and squats are your butt and legs best friend. There are umpteen variations you can do for both that will lean your legs out nicely. I get my ideas from Oxygen magazine, their Special issues for Butt and Legs are great for suggestions on workouts.

AnAbsoluteDiva
03-17-2007, 06:59 PM
???

Seeing how the IT band is strengthened by abductors (outer thigh) muscles and the adductors (inner thigh) muscles are the opposing group, any runner will tell you that those muscles need to be trained and trained well.

Knee pain?

IT band is out of whack.

Diva0203, my advice to you is keep working those muscles. You got 'em, you may as well use 'em.

Either that, or find a good orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in knees. Sooner or later, you're gonna need him.

;-)

canadian mom
03-17-2007, 07:06 PM
My legs were not going anywhere with suats and lunges when I added some leg lifts it made the world of difference but I do the fire hydrents (someone said that is what they are called) and lost an inch 1 and 1/2 on both legs combined. Now thought they are stuck again maybe time to add more reps.

Ilene
03-17-2007, 09:26 PM
Diva0302 -- Did you mention you had knee pain? I didn't see that...

AnAbsoluteDiva -- I interpreted the question as being, were inner and outer thigh exercises conducive to reducing the size of the thigh... Maybe I was wrong....

canadian mom -- the variety of squats and lunges I do hit the legs ALL around :yes:...Here is a sample of what I do: the side to side lunges, reverse lunges, front lunges, walking lunges, walking lunges with a front kick, walking lunges with a back kick, wheel lunges (front, side, reverse), plus I do these holding 10-20 lbs weights...Here I found Squat Exercises Photo Gallery (http://exercise.about.com/od/lowerbodyworkouts/ig/Lower-Body-Exercise-Photos/index.htm) plus I do others that are very good too not shown in that gallery... Much more fun than doing leg lifts... I just looked up firehydrant leg lifts, I haven't done those in a while, I just may try them this week... I love variety...

Diva
03-17-2007, 10:01 PM
I may have mentioned my knee pain in another thread or maybe AbsoluteDiva was reading my mind, because I did hurt my knee a lil' the other day doing the step, but it was ok, I just slowed down a bit and worked out without the step. It wasn't until yesterday when i went to pay a bill, I got out of the car the wrong way and really hurt the SAME knee....I've been limping everysince. How did she know that? LOL! Anywho....Can I wrap it in an ace bandage and continue my workout? I really don't want to stop. I did take today and also tomorrow(Sunday) off.

I am still a bit confused I must say. I have read in this forum and others to go ahead and start weight lifting, even thought I haven't lost all the weight yet, and now y'all are saying it'll only make me look bigger? So should I wait until I drop the weight and get closer to 135 before I lift weights?

Ilene
03-17-2007, 10:19 PM
Oh dear, poor Diva :hug: , please by all means, use weights and don't be shy about using them ... As you lose the fat your muscles will show through and you will look awesome, but you must lose the fat on top of the muscles that's the point I was trying to make. Weight training is a girl's best friend for many reasons, here are a few :
Help raise your metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn all day long.
Strengthen bones, especially important for women
Make you stronger and increase muscular endurance
Help you avoid injuries
Increase your confidence and self-esteem
Found those reasons in this article Weight Training 101 (http://exercise.about.com/cs/exerciseworkouts/a/weight101.htm)

Diva
03-17-2007, 10:28 PM
Okay, coolbeans Ilene, thank you! I use 2 and 5 lb weights a couple of times a week and that resistance band with the Bootcamp DVD's that totally kick my butt! I was hoping I wasn't going to have to stop, hehe!

Billy Blanks and his bands are so hard! I also want to get one of them Balls to do sit ups and some other things I saw Bob(TBL) do on the Ellen show. :D

nelie
03-17-2007, 11:04 PM
Diva - I actually went to a physical therapist for my knee pain. I had tons of leg exercises but only 2 that worked the inner or outer thigh muscles. Both used some form of resistance or weight.

1. Get a band of some sort, attach it to something stable. I put mine under a coffee table leg. You do 4 directions. You face away from whatever the band is attached to, put one of your legs in the bands loop and you lift straight up. That works your quads. Then you turn 90 degrees in one direction. Then you lift away from the attachment point, you are working either your inner or outer thigh (depending on leg and direction of turn). Then you face toward the bind point and lift behind you, you are working your hamstrings, then you turn yet again 90 degrees and you are working your inner thigh (or outer thigh but the opposite of the second to last exercise). You then switch legs and work the next leg. I know it is hard to explain but basically you make a loop with a band of some sort, you put one leg in, you lift in the direction of creating tension, then turn 90 degrees until you have worked all 4 directions.

2 - Turned out leg lifts with weights. Bend one leg, straighten the other. For the straight leg, turn the leg out so that the inner thigh is facing up. Then lift your leg up.

If you have questions, feel free to PM me. It is important to strengthen your leg muscles if you have knee problems.

Diva
03-18-2007, 12:01 AM
Thank you Nelie! I am working on it. I never had knee problems before so it must be all this extra weight I've been sporting for the last 5 years or so. I got me some ankle weights to use too. :)

I was looking at your Weight ticker thingy! you have lost losts of weight! WTG!!!! That gives me hope!

ennay
03-18-2007, 01:08 AM
I've been through a recent round of PT myself. The exercise I am doing is called the bowler. Stand on left leg, hold light weight in right hand, sweep right leg behind and to the left side like you are doing a curtsy or bowling a ball. Lean over until your hand with the weight just touches the floor. At this point if you havent fallen over you should look like the pro bowler dudes right when they release the ball.

This is for my outer hip (piriformis) - not thigh, but it is to help with pronation which does affect the knee and ankle.

pinupdreams
03-26-2007, 04:24 PM
lol the one with the broom in back of the neck lol i always did that! guilty!

Renny Sue
04-25-2007, 08:53 AM
I am still a bit confused I must say. I have read in this forum and others to go ahead and start weight lifting, even thought I haven't lost all the weight yet, and now y'all are saying it'll only make me look bigger? So should I wait until I drop the weight and get closer to 135 before I lift weights?

Weights are so important for women. Besidse the bemefits mentioned above, you might lose fat, but if you're not building muscle what's the point? You'll still have a soft body.

I used to have to do the 'broom' exercise for rep softball. Except we used our bats, in the middle of winter! Thank God I was a pitcher and had a towel in my bag, which went over it, but it was pure torture the first week for those who didn't. I wish I had this article then to give to my coach. I found them useless, even for making your body pivot.

smisen
05-13-2007, 07:56 PM
Wow - this has certainly changed my approach to weight training at the gym!

fitmom1
05-23-2007, 01:15 AM
Nice ARTICLE.
Accurate information.
Thanks for posting it.
cert pft fitmom1

Misti in Seattle
06-12-2007, 09:37 AM
Just one comment about the cardio. I also go on long walks for longer than an hour but as has been said here, that probably doesn't get my heart rate up enough to be harmful. But as for more than 60 minutes of intense cardio per day, my gym trainers in the past have said it is okay as long as you don't do it all at once. Example, okay to do an hour morning and an hour evening. I haven't seen this mentioned here -- the posts seem to be about doing it all at once -- and wondering what others here who are knowledgable think about this.

Thanks
Sue

diana28
09-14-2007, 07:49 AM
Thanks for the information, it may save me a lot fo time

Scenestealer
10-21-2007, 11:59 PM
So... this article made me really depressed. I've spent a lot of time on those exercises and other similar ones that work my muscles. I know you can't spot reduce, but I don't have a ton of extra fat to lose, so isn't it worth it to start toning now so once the fat is gone you can see toned muscles? I always "feel the burn" from the abductor/adductor machines and from side bends - I don't understand how that isn't at least some kind of good sign (as long as it's more soreness than pain/injury).

Also, in the past, I've noticed that the side bends at least have tightened up my waist, or so I thought. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but when I did them a lot I thought my sides felt tighter instead of jiggly? Didn't measure size so I can't comment on that.

So I guess my main question is, aside from the ones in there that they say are dangerous (I've never liked the rotator abs thing anyway, b/c I never felt it in my abs), when should someone start doing the other exercises? 50 pounds from goal weight? 10 pounds from goal weight? Not till they're AT goal weight?

Thanks!

baffled111
10-22-2007, 12:53 AM
Laura, weight training is always a great idea, no matter how far you are from your goal, or whether you're at your goal. I think the point of the original list is to emphasize that spot reducing won't reduce actual fat. But building muscle generally does help to tighten you up (and, long term, reduces fat all over).

I personally think that the original article is a bit dodgy, because it assumes that the ONLY reason someone might work their legs is to spot reduce. That said, lifting weights with a proper program designed to build muscle all over (and for me, as efficiently as possible) is the right thing to do.

If you want help starting a program, post in the main forum. There are lots of people with lots of knowledge with lots of great ideas!

Scenestealer
10-22-2007, 08:40 AM
Thanks, Baffled. I know you can't spot reduce fat but obviously you can "spot tone" which is sometimes what I'm looking to do :) Any knowledge on whether the side bends do tone up obliques or if those fall under the category of "complete waste of time"?

baffled111
10-22-2007, 11:14 AM
I'm afraid I have no idea.

I will say that the only ab work I do is 3 sets of weighted crunches twice a week on a ball, in the course of my regular workouts, and I'm starting to be able to see my obliques. I think it's from all the other exercises I do, not particularly from the crunches. Those are tiny little muscles and I'm not convinced that they need their own special exercises. Personally, I like the compound exercises that work many muscles all at once. It's much more efficient and you don't find yourself doing crunches all day long. :)

kimmieone
11-08-2007, 02:57 PM
Glad I found this, great info..thanks.

manchuntd88
12-17-2007, 05:48 PM
HA! I always just knew it about those hipductor machines!! EVERY woman at the gym does them though, theres always a LINE for that machine... I was always in it...up till now. Thanks!

missrocky73
01-19-2008, 12:05 PM
This was really worth reading. Thanks for posting the info

amy180
01-23-2008, 06:08 AM
BUT ... if you're taking long walks or hikes, you're probably not working at that high of an intensity. There's no way that I can walk fast enough to get my heart rate nearly that high - at 4.0 MPH, I barely crack 108, so it's low intensity exercise for me.
thanks for that info. I was just about to say I definitely did more than that last time I lost a lot of weight, and my body composition improved, but I wasn't doing most at my target heart rate, I did a lot of walking and lifting and such. Definitely no more than an hour running per day, anyway. ^_^

Other than that, I am still a bonehead for doing upright rows and behind the neck presses, apparently. lol. I will have to work on that. ^_^

Strength training is meant for strengthening and building muscle, not slimming down. I'm assuming this article was meant for women only? I've actually started reading men's weightlifting magazines because of this issue.
Yeah that got me too. I know that women don't build muscle as much or in the same way, but I started reading more online articles aimed for men. Ever since junior high all I've really wanted is some upper body strength. ^_^ And personally I don't care if my thighs are tiny, I'd just as soon have muscles in them again like when I used to run cross country in high school. Those were the days.. [sigh]

But yeah, the article seems to just be saying that spot-reducing doesn't work. I know that. Only time my legs slimmed down noticeably was from running a lot, which was because the muscles were toned and I lost fat from everywhere, not just legs.

vertigoskyy
01-30-2008, 11:16 PM
I personally love the Adductor & Abductor Machines. They don't "shrink" my legs, but I definitely feel as if they have made my legs stronger. And if nothing else they've made me more flexible. The one at the gym I go to, I used to only be able to spread my legs to a 5, and after a month on it I can spread to a 6. So I think if nothing else I'm regaining my flexibility that I've lost over the past few years.

I go to Fitzone now [used to go to YMCA], which is kind of like a Curves. What I'm doing must be working because I lost 5.5 inches in my first month!

Those were the only ones on the list that I do.

tleef
02-25-2008, 03:20 PM
OK...I'm trying to digest all of this as I read everyone's posts. I go to Curves and how I interpret this article is as follows:

In order to lose fat and strengthen muscle one must burn more calories than they take in through a reduced calorie meal plan and an increase in physical activity. When one uses stregnth training they are creating more muscle mass. Overall muscle mass increases the metabolism and therefore allows you to burn fat more effectively/efficiently. Using a single machine to "REDUCE" an area is pointless, but using that machine in combination with an entire routine can assist in overall body shaping. Increasing a muscle doesn't do any short-term good if it's covered in a layer of fat but long-term it will help in a number of ways (see above).

Now, with that in mind I'm not going to cancel my membership at Curves since it's not the ad/adductor machine that's bad or ineffective, It's an individual's idea that doing just that machine to reduce the inner/outer thighs that is incorrect. Am I getting this right? I use Curves 3 times a week and even though I skipped a number of workouts :(...I've still lost quite a few inches and can feel the muscles under the fat developing. Just this week I have added in an hour of cardio on my stationary bike at home 3 times a week (or twice a week if I get to aquasize once a week) as well in hopes of helping to burn fat a little faster and getting over my current plateau.

Does a routine like that make sense?

Tamara

baffled111
02-25-2008, 04:30 PM
I think you're almost right about that Tamara. The problem isn't necessarily the exercise but what it is we expect the exercise to do. That said, spending all day on the in/adductor machine isn't going to do even a tiny portion of the good that doing squats, lunges and/or step-ups would do. To me, it seems like a waste of time to work one angle of a giant muscle when I could just do some squats or lunges and work the entire thing.

beautifulstruggle
02-28-2008, 06:54 AM
I love the abductor/adductor machines, they're great for giving shape and they helped get me my curvy thighs and bum, and i definitely wouldn't stop using them just because of that article.

TimesOnMySide
02-29-2008, 02:37 PM
I love the abductor/adductor machines, they're great for giving shape and they helped get me my curvy thighs and bum, and i definitely wouldn't stop using them just because of that article.

Now that makes me think that exercises effect us all differently then? If it's a waste of time...yet works for you...somethings not adding up!
T
hat was a great article..thanks for posting. :)

fat4awhile
02-29-2008, 10:24 PM
I think this thread should be made as a personal opinion, not a fact.

Boosha
03-13-2008, 11:38 AM
my trainer keeps telling me to do weights first and cardio second. he says that when you do cardio first you just burn off blood sugar. if you do it second, you are burning fat.

anyone heard the same?

rockstar87
03-17-2008, 02:29 PM
Yup. I was always told to do weights first and cardio second (not counting a 5-10 min warm up of course). There are a few different reasons I've heard but I think the main one is having enough available blood sugar to do weight bearing activities. Cardio, whatever form, is monotonous in that you're doing the same movements over and over again and it's less important to have that blood sugar throughout the exercise. As well, it's very important you have the right technique when you're doing weights to avoid injury so it's probably not a good idea to exhaust some of your muscles through cardio and then try and lift.

I really thought this article was great and seemed accurate based on all the research I've done/things I've been told. I never used the adductor/abductor machines. I used to figure skate and play hockey competitively and while it's very important to strengthen those muscles I always was told to do lots of different variations of squats and lunges. Another problem with some of those machines is that if you're trying to drop weight you're sitting down for the exercise so you're not maximizing your heart rate/calorie burn. In something like squats you're standing the whole time...

TimesOnMySide
03-20-2008, 07:30 PM
I read a blog that recommended hitting the weights first. By weight training first, youíll have more energy to lift and your body will release the hormones needed to stimulate growth. Weight training will also get your body into fat-burning mode to maximize your ability to maintain and build lean muscle tissue.

With your metabolism in high boost, your cardio workout will be much more effective. Remember - For every one pound of lean muscle you add, your body will burn 30-50 additional calories per day!

It was on kineda. It seems accurate enough! If I do weights, I do them before I start my cardio.

Rayelle
04-15-2008, 04:57 PM
Wow! At least 3 of these are machines used at Curves. Thanks for this info!



I noticed that too! What a bummer

LindsayL0ve
04-30-2008, 07:02 AM
^^

really? I don't have a car (good reason that i can walk.) and the only gym around my small town is curves.
Im glad i read this before i went to be a member.:p

Devandra
05-15-2008, 03:45 PM
i ladies...these are great myh breakers!! Love it. I mix mynew fave cardio (running) WITH STUFF I CAN DO AT HOME...single mom of two working full time...Anyway, I found another really great women's support group, Traxee (google it!) having started back to running after 12 years I needed questions answered and motivtion, not to mention Where to best start for my body and lifestyle. Just wanted to share with you my findings! best Wishes everyone!

~Devandra

nwotal
05-17-2008, 11:49 AM
adductor/abductor machines I love these machines! Glad I read this!

HowManyPounds
05-21-2008, 05:46 PM
Thank you for this info.

amyx33
07-21-2008, 06:29 PM
wow great!! thanks for this thread. I now know not to spend my time on those 10 items. but to spend time on the exercise that do the most work. thnky u!

texasbunny
07-22-2008, 08:46 PM
Hmm...interesting to know! I've been a sucker for the standing twist and side bends forever!

celtictrek
08-02-2008, 10:43 PM
Amazing! Everytime I've joined a gym these have all been exercises that I was given to do. I never saw any improvement and always ended up just quitting! I think I want my money back! LOL!

from220to112
09-15-2008, 07:37 PM
Hehe, I shall feel smug at all the people twisting and jerking in the gym tomorrow. Although I did once mention to someone doing straight situps that she should bend her knees. It may have constituted as sticking my oar in, but she did say to me after that her back felt much more comfortable with her knees bent.

I's a trainer, I is! :L

emmy8082
11-04-2008, 04:31 AM
Hmm.. I donīt think this is right at all .

I use e.c. these legpress and I donīt think itīs inefficient .
I have stronger legs and I also think it works for getting slimmer legs. :carrot:

But a lot of think information is also right.. I think.
Iīm not a specialist .. but I think everything you do with fun is also good for your body.

Sarati
12-12-2008, 04:45 PM
We have some of these machines at my gym. I may reconsider them but now the question is:
Which are the 10 most effective exercises??????

JackieRn
12-13-2008, 01:18 PM
As far as the abductor/adductor exercise machine, I'm glad I read this, it seems to be the machine that attracts the most creeple at the gym, I am more than happy to let it go. :)

TheTinGirl
12-28-2008, 09:31 PM
Hmm...I don't know, my opinion is wavering a bit here and there. I know you're supposed to do weights first and then cardio but how do you deal with jello leg syndrome? After my lower body workout I can barely walk, and feel lucky if I can stumble 30 mins through even a treadmill...I'm thinking of doing my cardio in the morning (To give myself energy to get through the day) and do my weight lifting at night....does that sound ok? Also with the twist and ductors I'm really fond of these. :( I really feel the burn in specific muscles. Do they actually hurt anything?

Ilene
12-28-2008, 10:33 PM
Hmm...I don't know, my opinion is wavering a bit here and there. I know you're supposed to do weights first and then cardio but how do you deal with jello leg syndrome? After my lower body workout I can barely walk, and feel lucky if I can stumble 30 mins through even a treadmill...I'm thinking of doing my cardio in the morning (To give myself energy to get through the day) and do my weight lifting at night....does that sound ok? Also with the twist and ductors I'm really fond of these. :( I really feel the burn in specific muscles. Do they actually hurt anything?I think splitting your routine morning and night is a great idea and recommended if you have the time to do that, most of us only have time to do one or the other. When I do cardio on leg days I do the biking only but most of the time I am so burned after a leg workout that I don't do cardio, let your body guide you...

kiahna23
01-26-2009, 05:23 AM
Ok. I use to go to this workout class called intermediate aerobics at my college. And I lost SOOO much weight in like 2 months. We worked out for 90 minutes. Yes I lost weight but I lost a TON of muscle too! I looked alright. My legs were "scrawny" and I didnt like it. So I believe her. Cardio DOES take away muscle mass if you do it too long! SO I do CARDIO 3 times a week and WEIGHT AND RESISTANCE training 3 times a week. Off most sundays. And my legs are tighter.

Like they say. The proof is in the "pudding". And that's exactly what you will look like! lol.

Platinum
01-28-2009, 01:42 AM
So i'm thinking that the article is only partially true and partially opinion, this reminds me of the posting on the (i'm paraphrasing here:) 'complete uselessness of strength training on machines vs. free weights'. So for those of us who do use regularly or occasionally machines for our strength training perhaps it is good to incorporate the abductor exercises into our routine so they at least get worked and those who do free weights or free standing exercises it is mostly likely entirely unnecessary as they are worked through exercises like lunges/squats etc...

but to completely dismiss ab/ductor exercises is idiotic to me. Just like you do different exercise for your abs, for lower, upper and obliques, even though you really exercise the entire muscle its just the muscles fibers on one end or the other get worked harder, I think the same concept could be applied to this debate on the ab/ductors. Really it's like saying don't do any 'lower' abdominal exercises, which I doubt anyone would think was sound advice.

I never really did the ab/d machines cuz it always was uncomfortable to me. I do however add in some low-pulley leg raises (to the side and in) standing next to a low-pulley with a cuff attached to my ankle at a comfortable weight. I can definitely tell those target my inner/outer thing MUSCLE, because they get that wonderful lactic acid ache the next day. I'm not doing it to 'spot reduce' as I figured most people unless they have lived under a rock for the last 20 years know that is impossible! BUT I do it to strengthen my leg muscles so I have more overall power and tone in them.

It is good to know however that proper form in strength training is evolving, just like when they made us do the hurdler stretch in gym class then one year decide it was bad for us and we did the modified-hurdler stretch. Raising awareness on certain methods of exercising/stretching a muscle that can actually cause more damage is really good (like don't do the lat-pull down behind your neck! or don't extend your knee past your toe/ankle when doing lunges!), but you shouldn't make it seem that doing any exercise for that muscle is useless.

I think perhaps that is what is causing most of the confusion in this thread. The article would be more clearer if it had more context.:^:

Ilene
09-13-2009, 07:37 PM
My question after reading is:

Okay, but what exercises SHOULD we be doing for the inner and outer thighs? I realize no exercises spot-treat, but what if you're honestly looking to tone, tighten, and strengthen as part of an overall fitness regime? I used to love the way the thigh machines made my legs FEEL at the gym, but I only had a trial membership and didn't do them enough to notice huge changes. Heh.

Same for waistline though. I know total weight loss is needed for a slimmer waist, but how to strengthen that area if not twists? Just let us know.The best exercises for inner and outer thighs are squats, lunges, any and all varieties, and there are MANY just Google. You can and should exercises the inner and outer thigh to round off your leg workout but don't expect it to thin out your legs. Only cardio will burn the fat and expose the muscles hidden. For a leaner waist again cardio will burn the fat. BUT to strengthen your core and make you look taller and slimmer core exercises are important. Again you can Google this. Many of these exercises can be done at home too :D ... Hope this helps...

Aclai4067
09-13-2009, 08:33 PM
I like the adductor, abductor, and side bends. But I knew better than to think they'd reduce the size of those areas. As for the seated rotation machine, I tried it once and it felt awesome. It was just a really intense workout. But I spoke with my wellness coach about it shortly after and she told me how easy it is to injure yourself on that machine. So I've avoided it since. I see people using bad form on it all the time and it makes me cringe!

Britt7
09-15-2009, 05:15 PM
Wow! I've read this whole topic from start to finish and as a beginner I wanted to say thanks for all of the great info!

Dollar hunter
10-10-2009, 01:59 PM
Hey this is great, i used to do mostly the exersices from this.but some are new for me.

ErwinD
10-13-2009, 05:06 PM
Cardio for fat loss is the way to do it. But some people overdo it. A gradual exercise curve is better at achieving results than taking all in one stride.

Sarby
12-19-2009, 04:22 AM
Thanks for the great article and helpful comments.
I have concluded that i will continue abductor/adductor workouts since I enjoy horseback riding and can always use help strengthening leg muscles!

I will however ditch the ab machine and do a captain's chair or bicycle maneuver instead.
I'm also ditching the seated rotation machine, I never felt it in my midsection either, mostly my shoulders and arms from trying to stabilize.

MelO
12-26-2009, 12:46 AM
You can do plie squats for your inner thighs and side kicks or standing leg lifts for your hip abductors. My thighs have been burning for 2 days from doing the abductor machine at my gym.

missyRxOx
02-23-2010, 02:36 AM
does anyone know any good exercises for the thighs then?
i was a fool and used to do the abductor and adductor machines for the thighs... no more after reading the article!
but other than cardio (i do the elliptical, walking, upright bike and so on) so that obviously works my thighs, but any other machines such as weights or whatnot?

(thighs are my problem areas!)

Ilene
02-23-2010, 11:03 AM
does anyone know any good exercises for the thighs then?
i was a fool and used to do the abductor and adductor machines for the thighs... no more after reading the article!
but other than cardio (i do the elliptical, walking, upright bike and so on) so that obviously works my thighs, but any other machines such as weights or whatnot?

(thighs are my problem areas!)Any and all variations of squats and lunges will help a LOT :yes:

missyRxOx
02-27-2010, 04:43 PM
Any and all variations of squats and lunges will help a LOT :yes:

okay will do more of those, thanks!

BTW, your name is one letter off of mine... my name is Irene haha

nurseamber
03-29-2010, 11:10 AM
a good follow up to this would be 10 excercises that are the best to do...

Dmom
04-09-2010, 07:12 PM
very helpful..thanks!

BecomingOfMe
05-20-2010, 09:49 AM
Okay so quick question they "say" you should burn the amount of calories you take in so if you eat
1,500 calories how can you possibly burn that in 60 Minutes?

thecolorchangingfedo
05-25-2010, 01:15 PM
@becomingofme:
I don't think that you're supposed to burn your calories all at once.


@ the over all topic:
I'm so green, I don't even know what most of those are. 0.o
That is nice to know about the 60 minutes, although. That makes me feel a little better about not exercising like omgnonstopkeepitmovingfatty.

ennay
05-25-2010, 02:44 PM
Okay so quick question they "say" you should burn the amount of calories you take in so if you eat
1,500 calories how can you possibly burn that in 60 Minutes?

You burn calories all day long, not just while exercising.

The 60 minute "ineffective exercise" is inaccurate as it is presented. The notion that extended cardio causes muscle loss has been largely disproven. Whether there are more effective ways of approaching cardio is another matter but to call it harmful is misleading.

StephanieM
06-18-2010, 11:02 AM
I found this article interesting, it makes me rethink some changes I made to my gym routine.

I've been doing half an hour of cardio (sometimes elliptical, sometimes treadmill), and then after I do weights. I started using the adductors and abductors to tone up my thighs and now I'm rethinking whether I should put the effort in on that machine. My legs are thinning up nice, so now I'm looking to start the toning process with my body.

cold
06-26-2010, 11:40 AM
To think I wanted to join a gym for the adductor,glad I saved money and time.

firefoxsilver9
12-22-2010, 12:27 AM
i didn't know the body could only burn 2lbs of fat a week before going into muscle. Good to know.

radar2011
01-07-2011, 09:17 PM
How do you determine ineffective. If the only criteria is weight loss, or size reduction, sure there are other exercises better. But to say all of these are useless is wrong. The ab and adductor machine will absolutely strengthen the muscles involved, and increase flexibility. As for upright rows, if you build slowly, and use good form, they are an excellent exercise for traps and delts. I've worked up to 205 in the past, and had no damage. Same with press behind the neck. you have to work on form and start slow.

thinner
01-07-2011, 10:32 PM
i think the article was just sensationalism. some truth though. i feel like i wasted the time i spent doing almost all of those machines. i gained a little muscle but lost a whopping 0.5 pound per week and didn't lose that until i started counting calories. then i later found weights classes and my body started to change, and then i found a bootcamp class. i have since learned that those machines isolate everything except the one muscle you are working, but freeweights make you work your body closer to real life movements and multiple ones together. that is why you can burn more calories and get the muscles stronger. when i was doing machines, one trainer told me there was no reason to do more than 3 sets of 8. i will never ever do that again. the bootcamps and other more intense programs do more than that and they usually get awesome results.

as for the thighs, i want ALL my muscles to be strong. even squats have certain ones that will work the inner/outer thigh, etc. so what's wrong with that??? all that will happen is your thigh gets stronger, and eventually helps your body to burn more calories.

i've been told to do weights first, then cardio for the reasons stated here. now i've had to separate my cardio days.

and, to burn calories, it's better to do intervals at a higher intensity instead of that lower intensity "fat burning zone" for alot longer time. also, supposedly your body wants to hold on to fat more because you just used alot of it for your longer time workout.

I haven't read the original research, but apparently that two pounds per week theory only came about because in a study that was done back whenever, that is the average that was lost. We all know that people can lose more and it's not always a problem.

however, i do still do the back [extension??] crunch machine to strengthen my back and it's working wonders for that purpose!!! also is the ab crunch machine. i do that ab rotator which is supposed to work the outer obliques. maybe that or the side bends wouldn't make me gain 10 pounds of muscle, but they do need to be strengthened.

chubbycanuck
07-13-2011, 03:43 PM
I have never liked the idea of seated isolation weights machines at the gym. Now I have proof! Thanks for the article!

Darence
10-24-2011, 01:45 AM
I really would like to lose weight, and I have all the diets and stuff, all I need to know is the most effective exercise and the exercise that works quickly. Thanks

dominodreams
11-04-2011, 02:19 PM
Regarding the (ab/ad)ducter, I agree that just isolating those muscles is silly, but my trainer showed me a new way of using the machine, where you don't sit on the seat, but rather hold onto the machine and hold yourself about 6 inches off the seat. That works both your thighs and your butt, and it feels amazing!

reanbean
12-07-2011, 07:34 AM
Wow, I love the article on the most effective ab workouts. If only they showed you how to do each one of the moves. :/

jttw18
12-19-2011, 05:35 PM
Oh wow. Good thing I don't do a lot of these exercises. I used to use the abductor and adductor machines, but stopped using them when they didn't really put in any effect. I was actually quite surprised at some of the workouts because a lot of them seem to be useful.

Now I don't have to waste my time on these workouts that I once thought were good.

Thank you!

Nadya
01-23-2012, 03:12 AM
I've used the abductor and adductor machines several times, I'm a little saddened to read they aren't worth it. =(

freelancemomma
04-01-2012, 10:52 PM
i didn't know the body could only burn 2lbs of fat a week before going into muscle. Good to know.

I'm no expert, but I intuitively question this notion. If you have a lot of fat stores (i.e., if you're overweight), why would your body "go into" muscle if you lose more than 2 lbs per week?

F.

freelancemomma
04-01-2012, 10:55 PM
Remember - For every one pound of lean muscle you add, your body will burn 30-50 additional calories per day!

I've heard (from several sources) that it's 6 calories, not 30-50. Just goes to show how hard it is to get accurate information.

F.

VermontMom
04-04-2012, 10:54 AM
I'm still going to do side bends :p not to reduce love handles..but to firm the obliques, and for core work.

AlmostMe
04-11-2012, 01:18 PM
I've just added in Ab/Ad to my workout and will keep doing them for now. I suffered a calf injury last summer which still bothers me a little bit. I'm very overweight and have just started running again. I don't need to add any extra stress with lunges just yet.

Ab/Ad machines can be great if you're quite heavy because you're working those muscles but not putting any kind of pressure on your joints.

But like the article says - they won't make your thighs skinny. My fitness goal is to play women's rugby in the autumn - so I want to build every muscle as soon as I can. But when my fitness is improved I'll be doing stuff which is more dynamic to build up muscles, strength and power.

FattyFatFat
05-22-2012, 06:42 PM
I never understood why people thought side bends worked in the first place. At most, it gives a good stretch, but you can do that without weights.

bigmike7801
07-07-2012, 02:19 PM
Dang, I thought I was getting a good workout with the Seated Rotation Machine.

I never felt like I was doing it right though.

Redredbird
07-13-2012, 01:56 PM
I'm off to the gym for weights and cardio. I play squash- and get the best workout but find it difficult to get partners. :(

What is your favorite thing to do on the cardio machines?

Redredbird
07-15-2012, 12:02 PM
Oh Ineffective... well Im simply in the wrong thread, never mind.

sorsita
08-02-2012, 07:01 AM
thank's for sharing

alec12
12-08-2012, 12:52 AM
Hello,
Thanks for this wonderful post bcoz it's expose lot of thing about excercise that are useless for us!!

Jentry07
12-10-2012, 07:00 PM
These are so great! I had no idea straight leg sit ups were ineffective, I had tried them before and completely agree they place so much strain on your lower back that I just couldn't get myself to do them again, glad to know they don't work anyways! :) Thanks for these! So helpful! :)

straightahead
01-20-2013, 04:24 PM
great article...I am glad to pass up the abductor/adductor machine from now on...it is kind of tedious. I wish the author included 10 most effective exercises.... has anyone seen such an article?




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hiddenstar
01-21-2013, 07:35 AM
My dr told me to use ad/abductor as part of routine to reduce knee pain. So i believe they are great for strengthing muscles. Several said to replace with squats and lunges but i cant do those until my knees get better.

teekim22
01-21-2013, 07:51 PM
Totally agree that crunches/sit ups are useless! It takes something like almost 400,000 to lose one lb of fat. Haha!

Jentry07
01-25-2013, 05:08 PM
Wow I had no idea, a lot of those make sense though! Especially with that cardio tapping into your muscle after 60 mins! I work too hard to built up any sort of muscle, I definitely don't want to do anything to take that away! ha thanks for sharing these!

Shy girl
02-09-2013, 11:02 AM
Woah make me panic a bit when I read #10 but thanks to the people who clarified things a bit. Those sweeping statements can be a bit to broad sometimes. I only do 60mins cardio a day anyway and am eating healthily so hopefully my muscles won't waste away ;):carrot:

Kscott
05-05-2013, 02:15 PM
I'm not as stupid as I thunk I was. My trainer wanted me to do upright rows and it just didn't "feel" right so I didn't do them. Ditto the side bends.

And the adductor/abductor machines, what are they about????

Very good point--if it doesn't feel right don't do it. That's the way people get injured. All of our bodies are different--and the opt is right here--there are many exercises that are not beneficial and unfortunately some of them can do more damage than good.

You want to feel the muscle not the joint. There are many good exercises for problems area's that do work, and a little homework makes all the difference in core strength. Those muscles that keep us together and standing up straight. If your core is strong the rest follows.

ShyHeather
06-20-2013, 12:06 AM
Ahhh!!! Number one and two blow my mind! I absolutely loved doing those, but ... then I would injure myself. This explains a lot.

I will remember to avoid that, and worry about my thighs when I'm ready. Right now just being able to walk up the 3% incline to my college is enough of a challenge! ;)

Leanbodywomen
02-20-2014, 08:07 PM
I agree with 7. Shoulder Press Behind Neck.

It hurts me just thinking about doing shoulder presses this way. Can you say serious shoulder injury?

This is really dangerous and can lead to a major injury.

morismos9
03-06-2014, 03:22 AM
Great tips here!

And the best one is Iíve seen people lose well over 100 pounds and lose it very, very fast. They did everything possible to lose weight (fat and muscle), as opposed to losing only fat and sparing muscle. The result is a soft and flabby looking body. Yes, they lost the 100 pounds, but did it in the most inefficient manner possible. The key to your success is not searching for an exercise that will reduce a trouble spot. Itís finding the most efficient exercises that will strengthen the area. Then, the combination of reduced calories, cardiovascular exercise and consistency does the rest of the work.

aiza55
05-15-2014, 08:29 AM
You name the exercise, and if you don't perform it properly it has the potential to cause serious injury, especially compound movements where the heaviest weights are used like bench, squats and deadlifts.

alexhanney08
05-23-2014, 02:44 PM
Thanks for this post Ilene! I do some cardiovascular workouts every morning its about 30-45 minutes. I want to lose weight easily. I want to double the time I spend in my workout everyday but I saw this post and it is really helpful for me. Thank you for sharing this.

FleurDeLis
06-15-2014, 10:30 AM
I knew a lot of these, but a few were a surprise. Makes me wonder why they have the machines in the first place?

I see A LOT of people at the gym doing these exercises and sometimes even doing them in a very bad way. Looks like they are just flopping the weight around. I just know they are going to get injured one day. There are also a lot of people flopping weights around on regular lifts and it just makes me cringe!