This blog post has been born out my own YouTube surfing.
I am personally a huge fan of Mike Thurston, I'm sure many of you know who he is, but for those who don’t, he has grown a huge following on YouTube and posts some of the most informative and honest videos I've ever seen.
here is a link to his channel, I’d highly recommend your subscribe.
But I need to stress at this point that Mike Thurston has not paid us for this post, nor is this a collaboration of any sort, I just happen to be a huge fan of his and thought it would be a good opportunity for me to share some of his knowledge with you guys.
Today I came across a recent video he had posted entitled the “7 Exercise Variations You Should Avoid” I clicked it straight away as I find these things very useful. So now I'm passing on what I have learned from this video to those of you who may read this blog regularly or who just happen to stumble across it.
I’m just going to make this as brief as possible.
So… Below are the 7 exercises he recommends we leave out of our training programmes all together.
- “Squatting Cable Bicep Curl”
I had never heard of this, nor had I ever seen anybody doing it. But it is essentially holding a squat position, whilst resting your elbows on your knees and performing a bicep curl using a cable.
The reason he says is simple… In order to grow the biceps, its important to overload them with heavy weight, and in order to do that, there needs to be some sort of opposing force to prevent you from creeping forwards and loosing balance.
A good alternative he says is to perform this movement with a preacher bench to stop you from moving forwards.
You could still use a cable if you wish, or just use an EZ bar.
2. Supernated Grip Tricep Press Down
I have to hold my hands up for this one, guilty! I’ve done this for a while, I would usually superset this with a heavy loaded pronated grip and then go a little lighter with he supernated.
But as Mike says in this video time and time again, the point is to go as heavy as possible. With the pronated grip this is a lot easier to do and with a lot more control. And looking back into this, lowering the weight to perform a supernates grip is completely pointless, because I could be going heavier, but because I am holding the bar in a weaker position I am not able too.
The pronated grip also enables you to achieve a much better contraction of the tricep.
Try it, just while reading this, flex your triceps in both ways and see which one enables you to achieve a better contraction…
He also says that it places to much stress on the forearm, which means that to pull a heavier weight down, it means we are relying on our forearms too much.
3. Using an assisted pull up machine to do a single leg press
I have to totally agree here… Pointless.
I completely understand the reason people do this… To activate the glute, however, as I’ve said earlier, the idea is to overload the muscle to make it grow.
Using this machine and pushing your leg down provides absolutely zero opposing force, making it impossible to put on a weight that actually puts the gluten under enough stress to grow.
So, to achieve the same result, but to make the muscle work harder, use a seated leg press. This provides the same range of motion but also provides that all important opposing force.
4. Upward Chest Flys / Crossover
Again, I'm guilty of doing these. I have found them to work for me in the past… however, after being told why they may not be best and what may be a better exercise to do to target the same muscle I'm now going to leave them out of my training.
Although Mike concedes that there will be some tension on the upper chest, he says that the majority of the tension will be placed on the front delt, the reason being that the motion is very similar to a front raise. He suggests moving your arms in an “across motion” rather than an up down motion.
So to do so effectively, place a bench in between two cables in an incline position, remove the handles, and perform a regular fly. But because of the angle of the hands, the angle of the bench and the grip itself its much more effective in targeting the upper pec.
5. Behind the back lateral raise
This one is hard to explain, so feel free to follow this link to the full video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAG9q8G1YGc&t=406s
6. Lat raise with a straight bar
I’ve done these as well. And again, felt like it was really working, but after watching this video I have had a re think.
The reason Mike suggests removing this one from your workout is simple. He says the weight is still the same as using a dumbbell, but there is just an added inconvenience of trying to balance the bar.
So.. just use the dumbbell, simple!
7. Barbell shrugs behind the back
This one needs a demonstration I think, so follow this link.
In summary, I feel all of this is solid advise, and after watching the video i tried all of the things he said to remove and compared them directly with their replacements, and I have to say that all of them were much better.
Thanks for reading guys.
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