8 Worst Bodyweight Exercises Ever (STOP DOING THESE!)

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The worst bodyweight exercises are often times the most common calisthenic exercises. In this video, I’m going to show you 8 bodyweight exercises you’ll want to stop doing, and more importantly, the exercise substitutions you should make to keep the gains coming and prevent injury from doing the wrong things.

We start with the popular bench dip. The reason people do this exercise for their triceps is to get a complete contraction on the muscle by getting the arm behind the body which allows for better activation of the triceps long head. The issue here is the position of the shoulder that many assume just to get in position to perform it. The head of the humerus is thrown anteriorly, which stretches and weakens the anterior shoulder capsule (an area already chronically weak and unstable on many). You can either vary the hand position as shown or switch to the cobra pushup as a way to get the same tricep benefits without the shoulder joint compromise.

Next we have the popular plank. Now, while this is a core exercise performed by many it doesn’t mean that it’s a good one. Besides the fact that it is entirely remedial for almost everyone that does it (not providing nearly enough of a core challenge to adequately stimulate or strengthen your core muscles) it also tends to reinforce some postural imbalances that are already all too common, with the posterior chain muscles getting too little stimulation in favor of the anterior chain. See the plank alternatives in the video linked at the end of this video.

The hurdler’s hamstring stretch is not at all the best way to stretch your hamstrings. Many will perform it but not understand why it’s so ineffective for creating actual length increases of the hamstring muscles. The issue is the amount of posterior pelvic tilt that occurs when you perform it. When this happens the hamstrings are put on slack and the stretch is greatly minimized. Instead, either do so out of a taller posture where the pelvis is rotated anteriorly or try the standing hamstring wall stretch for a much better effect.

Neck bridges are just not something you want to do to your neck. Yes, they are incredibly effective for creating overload and developing larger neck muscles, but at what expense. You only get one set of cervical vertebra in your lifetime. Protect them. Avoid the compression and shearing stresses piled on your discs with this exercise in favor of the flexion and extension isometrics shown.

Kipping pullups are not pullups. No further discussion needed!

Scorpions are performed to increase spinal mobility and movement. The problem is, increased lumbar rotation is not something you should be aspiring to create. The lumber spine is designed to be stable. Mobility in the area should come from the hips not the low back. Instead, opt for the t-spine mobility drill shown here to attack the area most capable of giving you the rotation that you seek.

Sissy squats are another bad bodyweight exercise you should avoid. It’s not so much the knees over toes that is the issue but that it is combined with the extra stretch on the quads from above that creates a tremendous amount of stress on the quadriceps and patellar tendons. Opt for a single leg modified pistol squat instead.

Finally, while popular, the pushup is one of the most often misperformed bodyweight exercises around. Be sure not to cut the range of motion even a few inches here if you want to see the real benefits of the exercise.

For a complete workout program where all of the exercises are selected based on science, be sure to head to athleanx.com at the link below to see how to train like an athlete and look like one in just a few months of proper training. Our Xero program is 100 percent bodyweight and requires no equipment at all.

For more bodyweight exercise videos and the worst exercises you should avoid, be sure to subscribe to our channel at the link below and remember to turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

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ATHLEAN-X™ says:

NEW “FAST ACTION” Q&A – After giving away more than 10,000 programs, it’s time to switch it up! Leave your most burning question about this video or any other training, PT or nutrition question within the first 2 hours of this video’s release (AS A SEPARATE COMMENT!!) and I will pick 8 to get a detailed reply from me right here in the comments. Answers will be posted within the first 24-48 hours of you leaving the question. Good luck!

The Realist says:

Me: just waking up mid stretch. 7:27 Jeff: 7:46

Brian Connolly says:

Amazing Video. Thank you.

Muhra D says:

Actually this video is funny 🤣🤣🤣

Can't_Touch_This says:

I can't do a fucking plannk for 2 minutes

MrCool Yeah says:

bruh 6:226:41, I got weak

Siobhan Phoenix says:

For the hamstring stretch people can also raise their hips up onto a yoga foam or folded blanket. By sitting at the edge the pelvis is able to tip forward. Some people are so tight sometimes that even this isn't enough and when that happens the torso begins to curve forwards rather than reaching up and out through the crown. A combination of raising the hips and bending the knee of the extended leg helps a person to do the stretch more safely. The stretch doesn't have to be done with one leg extended and the other outwardly rotated and bent. Simply having both legs extended, the hips raised on the edge of a folded and firm blanket and bending the knees will be enough. When a person stretches their torso forward they will know to back off a little when they can no longer keep the torso straight supporting their weight with the strength of their abdominals, psoas and back muscles. Curving forward isn't necessarily bad in the short time but if no injury happens in the short term doing stretches like these in the long term can lead to slipped discs, pulled glutes or hamstrings etc. Not opposing anything that was said. Just adding to it as a yogi who completed yoga teacher training with knowledgeable Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists. Great video!

Jack Sheehan says:

Do you have a workout for golfers looking to improve flexibility and strength to increase swing speed ? Thanks

yes no says:

man i used to use your videos every time i was working out
got into a massive depression for a long time, now i've been working out again for a week or two and recovering really well mentally as well finally
as i finish this video all i could think was "how did i ever stop watching this, too interesting!" good stuff man ty

ozzyphil74 says:

Awesome tips. I can attest to the push ups. I recently changed to doing push ups where I get as close to the ground as possible and it really did cut my reps in half.

Peace Maker says:

6:25.. Lol he look's like a fish trying to reach the water😂😂😂😂

Athul Krishna says:

I get pain in my left elbow after doing pushups..why?

Antonio Jerez says:

I love that he let Jessy do the shitty exercises, haha

Evan Neff says:

Those are the craziest triceps I’ve ever seen

Scott van Niekerk says:

Horrible advice to suggest a neck bridge vs planks

Noe Contreras says:

For the plank, I've seen examples of increasing difficulty by placing the elbows higher — shifting the lever to focus more attention on the core. Does it still pale in comparison to alternatives? Particularly the bodyweight variety?

GoMhaaad says:

Floor f*ck is my favorite exercise ever.

But I only got 2 or 3 f*cks in me before I quit it.

Estephany Matos says:

Things I learned in this video:
1- This man is a genius
2-We're all wrong

Janine Dear-Barlow says:

I can't even get a pull up above the bar. What should I do?

Harmony S says:

I cannot thank you ENOUGH for your scientific, interesting, entertaining videos! I am seriously so absorbed now in bio-mechanics. Speaking of the Scorpion, I agree 100% I did it once, and next day I woke up with pinching back pain and been dealing with it since December. Never again. Again, thank you so much and keep up the great work!!

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