are even worse. The direction of the movement isn't in a direct line against gravity in that your arms are moving "sideways" against gravity, making it a contraindicated movement. All you wind up working are a few of the tiny muscle fibers in the deltoid.
Front Squats: I don't see how placing the bar across your clavicle works the thighs any more effectively than having it across your back. The legs are still moving in the same direction. I think some people believe front squats must be good because they're so unbelievably uncomfortable. But the discomfort has nothing to do with what the exercise is supposed to work!
Side Bends With Weights: I HAD to mention this one because, as everyone knows, the obliques build up quickly and the last thing you want is a bigger waist. Having said that, I'd still suggest not ignoring oblique work. A little muscle on the obliques can provide a nice curve, as well as aid in strength moves involving the hips such as squats and deadlifts.
The Pec Deck: Once again, you're stuck with the range dictated by the machine. The one's where the arms are bent are better than those where the arms are outstretched because it's less stressing to the anterior deltoid.
The Swiss Ball: The most idiotic invention of the century. These oversized beach balls are okay for stretching but using them to lift weights is nothing short of ludicrous. The theory is, more balance is required, therefore more stabilizer muscles and neuron activity is incorporated into each movement. There may some truth to that, but the risk of slipping and having a dumbell landing on your teeth far outweighs the minute advantage in muscle stimulation. A fad that hopefully will soon die.
Okay, this is the nuts and bolts of effective training. But what about some stuff that's a bit off the beaten path? Thought you'd never ask. The following chapters are a culmination of unusual training routines for every muscle group. Check 'em out.
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