Seven Exercises You Should Never Do Again

I’ve received the same clickbait article a few times from MyFitnessPal, entitled “7 Exercises You Should Never Do Again.”  We do many of these exercises as part of F3, so I decided to celebrate the ones we shouldn’t be doing and the ones that MyFitnessPal says we should be doing instead.


Warm Up

-Side Straddle Hops (20)

-Sir Fazio Arm Circles (10 and 10)

-Helicopters (15)

-Hillbillies (15)

-Sumo Squats (10)

-Merkins (15)


The Thang

(“Bad” exercise descriptions are taken right from the MyFitnessPal article.)


Mosey to the SuckBlock pile and bring them back to the parking lot by the SuckBricks and partner up.



This popular exercise targets your shoulders and traps.  Unfortunately, it’s one of the worst exercises you can do for your shoulders because it impinges your shoulder joints.  The upright row actually forces you to internally rotate your shoulders and pull a heavy weight while in a poor position, which can lead to all kinds of problems.  Instead, do dumbbell overhead press.

-BAD: one partner does 10 upright rows

-GOOD: meanwhile, the other partner does 10 overhead presses

-switch to the other exercise until each man has done 30 of each exercise



The back extension machine tries to strengthen your lower back by repeatedly flexing and extending it, which can cause problems.  Worse, a lot of people hold a weight plate behind their head or at their chest, which further increases the stress on your spine.

-BAD: one partner does Good Mornings (SuckBrick weight optional)

-other partner runs a lap around the parking lot

-switch places



Situps and crunches are as old-school as it gets:  You see them in PE class, boot camps, and military training around the world.  But get ready for some big news because these tummy exercises aren’t effective or good for you.

Your core – which consists of your rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques, transverse abdominis, pelvic floor, etc. – is designed to help your body stabilize and brace against twisting and bending (not generate it).

Situps and crunches, however, eliminate the bracing and put your body into bad positions: You pull your neck forward, round your shoulders, flex your spine, and put a lot of stress on your lower back.  (It also goes without saying that you should avoid the situp machine, too, for those reasons.)

Instead, choose ab exercises that help you maintain a good posture throughout the exercise, like the plank and variations thereof.

-BAD: one partner does 20 LBCs

-GOOD: one partner planks

-switch off every 20 LBCs until the team has done 120 total LBCs



With the exception of the inverted row, avoid all exercises on the Smith Machine.  It seems safe because the bar has a lock that activates when you let go, but it puts your body in unnatural positions because the bar only moves in a straight, rigid line, which is not how your move in real life.

Also, because the bar follows a straight path, you don’t get to improve your stability or balance and you won’t get the same muscle gains you’d like.  Instead, free-weight squats and free-weight bench presses activate more muscles than doing the same exercise on a Smith Machine.

-GOOD: one partner does 10 SuckBlock squats

-GOOD: one partner does 10 SuckBlock bench presses

-switch every 10 reps until both men have done 30 of each exercise



You might see these done in gyms or even physical therapy centers in an effort to “strengthen” your lower back.  But the problem is it cranks your lower back into hyperextension while putting tremendous load and compression onto your lumbar spine.  (Most people have a lower back that’s already too extended, which creates something called “lordosis.”)  Instead, try the single-arm farmers carry.

-BAD: one partner does a variety of Supermans (regular, hyperspeed, banking, flutters, etc.)

-GOOD: one partner does a single-arm SuckBlock farmers carry to the end of the parking lot and back

-switch places until each partner has gone out and back with right arm and again with left arm



Remember what we said about how the core is supposed to move?  Well the vertebrae of your spine at your lower back can only twist 13 degrees in each direction, which is tinier than one hour on a clock.  But the seated twist machines actually crank your body well beyond that range of motion.  Instead, try the Palloff press with a pulley cable machine or resistance band.

-BAD: one partner does American hammers

-other partner runs a lap around the parking lot

-switch places


Run to the playground



Avoid any upper-body exercise where you pull or push from behind your neck because it puts tremendous strain on your shoulders.  In a behind-the-neck position, your shoulders are almost at their maximal limit on extension in those positions – throwing weight on top of it just adds more strain to a fragile area.  Always do lat pulldowns, chin-ups, pullups, etc. toward your collar bone.  When pressing a weight overhead, start with the barbell at your collar bone, or use dumbbells or kettlebells.

-GOOD: one partner does inverted rows on the swings or jungle gym

-other partner runs a lap around half the campus

-switch places


That concluded the Seven Exercises You Should Never Do Again portion of the workout.  I had several more things planned, one of which was The Liz – a short workout that is mean, irrational, stubborn, and easily offended.  Frosted Flake asked for a preview.


-25 pullups

-25 burpees

-25 V-ups


You can break them up any way you choose, so with time running out, we did 5, 5, and 5.


Return the SuckBlocks to the woods and mosey back to the flag





Count-a-rama:  12 PAX



-Flintstone’s Lake Weekend – Friday and Saturday, August 24th and 25th; arrive any time after lunch, enjoy boats, fishing, etc., cookout, F3 workout Saturday morning, and leave when you’re ready; bring a pillow and sleeping bag.  Directions are available on Facebook at  the F3 – NE Wake group.

-New Location – Going forward, both Bandwidth (Tuesdays) and Max Bandwidth (Thursdays) will be at Abbotts Creek Community Center

-Labor Day Convergence – Monday, September 3rd, 0700 – NC Museum of Art on Blue Ridge Road

-9/11 Stair Climb – Tuesday, September 11th, 0530 – Carter-Finley Stadium Towers – arrival at 0530; first step at 0545

-Tunnel to Towers 5k – Saturday, September 15th, 0800 – Corner of South White Street and Elm Street.  Registration is $35 ($45 the day of the race) and includes timing bib and t-shirt.  Details at

-Legend Race – Saturday, September 15th, 0900 – 5027 Hancock Road, Oxford, NC.  $45 + $4.56 fee for regular wave; $55 + $5.12 fee for elite/competitive wave.  Sign up for any individual heat and then give your name to Floppy Disk, who will get all F3 folks together for an 11:30 heat.  Details at

-Spartan Beast – Saturday, November 17th, 1015 – Join Floppy and Boingo’s team.  $195 for open wave.  Details at

-White Street Brewery evening runs on Tuesday nights – 7 pm – 3-mile and 5-mile options


Good work, men.  Let’s continue doing more things we should never do again.  It was an honor to lead you this morning.