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  1. #1
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    Default Unpopular exercises

    What makes an exercise unpopular?

    When I used to train at commercial gyms, I always noticed a common factor with regards to exercises that were seldom performed:

    The lighter weight the exercise demanded, the less likely you would ever see it performed.

    That meant I never saw anybody perform front squats, zecher squats or standing dumbbell overhead presses. Which I always found unnerving since these are some of my favourite exercises.

    Conversely, I always saw flat barbell pressing, lat pull downs and the infamous barbell shrug!

    Your opinions are welcome.

  2. #2
    Moderator Scrutiny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenash View Post
    What makes an exercise unpopular?

    When I used to train at commercial gyms, I always noticed a common factor with regards to exercises that were seldom performed:

    The lighter weight the exercise demanded, the less likely you would ever see it performed.

    That meant I never saw anybody perform front squats, zecher squats or standing dumbbell overhead presses. Which I always found unnerving since these are some of my favourite exercises.

    Conversely, I always saw flat barbell pressing, lat pull downs and the infamous barbell shrug!

    Your opinions are welcome.
    In my opinion, and from what I have seen through working in a gym - is the degree of difficulty & also even how it looks when being performed.

    I very rarely see:

    1. Deadlifts (Difficulty)
    2. Free Weight Lunges (Difficulty)
    3. Seated Leg Abductor & Adductor Machine (Appearance of the machine, right infront of a mirror which females to not appreciate )

    Those above are just a few. Overhead presses are a very rare exercise to see performed at the gym as well, again I think the complex nature of it & also many do prefer to take the easy route by going to a machine press or something.
    Consistency is the key

  3. #3
    M&S Power User Nezzy's Avatar
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    Back squats to parallel seem to be the rarest exercise in my gym.

    Seriously though, I seem to have the opposite experience of Darren, almost everyone in my gym seems to have wrist curls as part of their weekly routine, yet there's maybe 2 of us who deadlift/squat/row. People do dumbell flies on three different angles of bench, yet fail to do one bench press which touches their chest.

    Another very rare thing is any weighted ab exercise, I see people doing leg raises, sit ups, crunches, all manner of weird bodyweight ab things, yet never see people doing cable crunches for example.

    I'm the same as Scrutiny on the military press, see a lot of people using dumbbells, seated or arnold press, and quite a few doing push presses, but rarely the straightforward military press.
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    I believe the unpopular exercises are the ones that are hard to master and very difficult at first.
    As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another...Proverbs 27:17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrutiny View Post
    2. Free Weight Lunges (Difficulty)
    I'm partly guilty of that. I always struggled to get that move right. I found walking lunges to be the best for me. Now I have a home gym I don't have the space for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrutiny View Post
    3. Seated Leg Abductor & Adductor Machine.
    I used to perform them at commercial gyms. I'm not prepared to pay for the equipment in my home gym. I thought they were good machines. I was the only chap that used them though :-D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrutiny View Post
    Overhead presses are a very rare exercise to see performed at the gym.
    I used to see them frequently. Always in the darn squat rack!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nezzy View Post
    almost everyone in my gym seems to have wrist curls as part of their weekly routine
    Yes, they were popular. I never understood why. One chap used to perform the 'twisting' variety. It was quite disturbing since he performed them sitting down near groin height with a wide grin. He definitely had a dumbbell in his hand though!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nezzy View Post
    People do dumbbell flies on three different angles of bench, yet fail to do one bench press which touches their chest.
    They could have been bodybuilders\fitness models performing a very specific pectorial workout?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nezzy View Post
    Cable crunches.
    I never got the hang of those either. No matter what I did, I only felt it in my legs.

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    Don't always see curls outside of the squat rack, sadly. I don't think I've seen reverse grip bench either. Nobody in my darn gym uses the T-Bar row apparatus, probably because it is neatly hidden behind a pull up/ab tower & the leg press machine.
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    Negatives applies to everything, bodyweight workouts are usually on the unpopular side of things however the usual exceptions of pull ups, and chest and tricep dips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenash View Post
    What makes an exercise unpopular?

    When I used to train at commercial gyms, I always noticed a common factor with regards to exercises that were seldom performed:

    The lighter weight the exercise demanded, the less likely you would ever see it performed.

    That meant I never saw anybody perform front squats, zecher squats or standing dumbbell overhead presses. Which I always found unnerving since these are some of my favourite exercises.

    Conversely, I always saw flat barbell pressing, lat pull downs and the infamous barbell shrug!

    Your opinions are welcome.
    Unpopular exercises, even at home, are unilateral ones that take twice as much time to perform.

    In the gym, lightweight exercises, which relates to those recovering from injury as well, as they feel they're being judged, we read about this on the forum a lot "so and so was only doing 30kg bench presses" etc; thankfully being a female, I feel more inclined not to give a stuff what anyone thinks to the weight loads I use, whether they're high or low.

    Exercises that are considered more "girly" even though there's no such thing.

    Exercises that require hard work.


    To some degree, it depends on the person doing the exercises, those with egos and the need to prove themselves will avoid the so-called "girly" and the lightweight rehab exercises; those with common sense and/or more workout experience will know why they're doing what they're doing and not give a flying f-ck about what others around them have to say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5kgLifter View Post
    Unpopular exercises, even at home, are unilateral ones that take twice as much time to perform.

    In the gym, lightweight exercises, which relates to those recovering from injury as well, as they feel they're being judged, we read about this on the forum a lot "so and so was only doing 30kg bench presses" etc; thankfully being a female, I feel more inclined not to give a stuff what anyone thinks to the weight loads I use, whether they're high or low.

    Exercises that are considered more "girly" even though there's no such thing.

    Exercises that require hard work.


    To some degree, it depends on the person doing the exercises, those with egos and the need to prove themselves will avoid the so-called "girly" and the lightweight rehab exercises; those with common sense and/or more workout experience will know why they're doing what they're doing and not give a flying f-ck about what others around them have to say.
    Amen - I have light days, heavy days, and sometimes super - light days and do not give a whiz, what others think - I train for me.
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    Regular Poster SCStronger's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Scrutiny

    Overhead presses are a very rare exercise to see performed at the gym.
    I used to see them frequently. Always in the darn squat rack!





    The power rack is the best place to perform a standing OHP .... seated, eh, not so much !
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    Possibly the level of difficulty or injuries can lead to some compound exercises not being done. But the in my opinion is that average person can be lazy in the gym. Legs if you hit them correctly are much more taxing then any other body part so that pushes a ton of people form doing some compound leg movements.
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    Most have mentioned everything here. I think overall the unpopular exercises are the ones that require the most energy/focus/confidence. Overhead presses are a great example. It's intimating, and it does turn a lot of heads if it is done since it's not really common in gyms.

    It is important to remember for the noobs and beginners that everyone starts somewhere. So if you're not doing the unpopular exercises like deadlifts, overhead presses, squats, then you're missing out on some hugee gains and development.
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    Instead of simply piling on more weight or doing an exercise faster, you can capitalize on the energy required to do moves one-armed, or one-legged. You'll work different muscles and get more benefit out of it.

    Changing it up by trying new sports or team activities can motivate people to work harder and achieve a better workout.

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    Whatever magazines release articles saying that the excersize is "bad for you"....

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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the infamous Smith Machine yet. I wouldn't recommend using it for squats, but for certain upper body movements, it can be useful.
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