Exercise Misconceptions - Exercises You Don't Really Need
Give up crunches—for good! Let these fitness pros help you find a more effective alternative for those and other exercises.
By Corrie Pikul
Original Content | August 26, 2011
You Think You Need Tricep Extensions...
But They Require More Flexibility Than Many of Us Have
To do this exercise correctly, you need to be able to reach behind your back, with your upper arms close to your ears and your elbows pointed straight up in the air. Does this hurt your neck? That could be because hunching over your computer all day has made your back stiff and inflexible, says Jennifer Cassetty, an American College of Sports Medicine fitness specialist and a certified personal trainer in Manhattan. "Many people don't have the range of movement and shoulder flexibility to properly execute tricep extensions," she says.
Better: Tricep push-ups. "They work triceps as well as the chest, shoulders and biceps," says Cassetty.
How to Do Them
- Lay flat on the ground with your hands under your shoulders and your elbows right by your sides.
- Push yourself up, focusing on your triceps. Beginners will probably only be able to come up to their knees. If you have the strength, push up to your toes. Try not to let your bottom sag, as this puts pressure on your lower back.
- Fully extend your arms without locking your elbows (a common mistake).
- Return to the starting position for full range of motion.
- Start with two sets of 10 and work up to three sets of 15.
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, March 9, 2014
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