12 Common Fitness Myths Busted

7. EZ-Bar Curls Are a Great Bicep Exercise

That curvy-looking thing you see people in the gym using to curl a ton of weight is not isolating a beneficial part of the bicep.

That specific position, with the thumbs facing up, takes the tension out of the bicep when curling. Straight-bar bicep curls, with the palm facing up, are best.

More: 25 Ways to Do Bicep Curls

8. Lat Pull-Downs Behind Your Head Are More Effective

Pulling the bar behind the head can hurt your shoulders or neck, as most people don't have the range of motion to safely do this.

Keep the bar in front of your face to be safe.

More: 6 Dangerous Training Mistakes

9. You Should Bench With Your Wrists Cocked Back or Bent

You wrists should be straight.

You wouldn't punch with your wrist bent because it's less supportive of the force of the weight. You can develop wrist tendonitis benching this way, as it breaks the proprioceptive system.

Benching with straight wrists may be awkward at first, as the stabilizers in your wrist will need to get used to the positioning, but you'll eventually be able to recruit more musculature in the chest. The neurological firing patterns will be better, the movement will be smoother, and you'll have less chance of wrist tendonitis as your wrists should get stronger over time.

More: How to Improve Your Bench Press

10. Stretching Greatly Decreases the Risk of Injury

Contrary to what this popular fitness myth would have you believe, you should not do static stretches before exercise—you don't want to put your muscles to sleep.

You want to excite them and get them fired up with active motion and dynamic stretches. Save the stretching to help with post-workout recovery.

More: 10 Post-Workout Stretches Everyone Should Do

11. Anyone Can Go For a Long Run

If you're overweight or out of shape and you try to run yourself into running shape, you may get injured.

In order to endure the pounding of running, you've got to be in running shape. To work your way up to running, try alternating jogging and walking. Progressively increase the amount of time you jog and decrease the amount of time you walk.

More: How to Increase Your Endurance by Walking

12. Machines Are Better Than Free Weights

Machines serve their purpose, especially for people who are limited due to injuries or a lack of experience.

Free weights give you better range of motion, though, and strength training is more functional if it helps you perform better in your daily life. The body is not made to work on an isolated plane of movement.

More: Should You Use Free Weights or Machines?

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