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4 Overrated Gym Exercises (+ Alternatives to Try Instead)

We connected with IFBB Pro Sadik Hadzovic to discuss what exercises he considers the most overrated and underrated. Find out if you should be swapping some of your current exercises for these muscle building movements.

Lat Pulldowns

Although this is an effective movement, you can use a lot of momentum and swing. You see people doing this exercise incorrectly and not using the full range of motion. And two hundred pounds on the lat pulldown doesn’t feel like two hundred pounds. I know a lot of guys that can do lat pulldowns for ten reps, but they can barely do two or three pull-ups.

Lat Pull Down Alternative: Pull Ups

Now immediately you’ll see that pull-ups are a lot harder. I can really feel my lats on pull-ups. I can get full range of motion and feel the stretch as I drive my elbows downwards. If you’re looking to build a crazy v-taper like I have, this is the movement you want. If you want wide flaring lats and a narrow waist you’ve got to do pull-ups.

Leg Extensions

Everyone starts their workout with this machine. You’ll see they’re flailing their legs, getting their lower back off the pads, they’re arching horribly, and they’re not contracting their quads at the top. That’s why this machine is so overrated.

Leg Extension Alternative: Barbell Front Squat

I think what’s going on here is this is such a challenging and difficult movement that we tend to opt to do easy stuff instead. Let’s go old-school and do the hard stuff. This is a way better movement; I feel way more activation on my quads than I do on leg extensions.

Plate Loaded Incline Press

Like anything, if done correctly you can really activate your pecs. But I just feel so much stress on my shoulders when I perform this movement.

Incline Press Alternative: Decline Barbell Press

I love this movement. I don’t know if a lot of gyms still have this machine. Nothing hits your pecs quite like the decline barbell press. Unlike the plate loaded incline press, this places you in a great position to scoop and get underneath those pecs and really contract them together.

Machine Shoulder Press

Like I said, when done properly you get a great pump and muscle activation. But this exercise is just so darn easy.

Shoulder Press Alternative: Rope Face Pulls

I absolutely love this movement. It brings out your entire rear delts, gets your medial delts, and builds out so much thickness. This movement probably looks easy, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t important. We spend so much emphasis doing pressing on shoulder days that we really need something to activate those rear deltoids.

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Date February 23, 2022
Category Training