Last month I discussed the time wasters that are Chronic Cardio, Triceps Kickback and Donkey Kicks. I am now probably going to upset a number of you with the fourth exercise in the list, as these machines tend to be one of the most used, especially by women.

4. The ABDuctor & ADDuctor machine: In my opinion these two machines are simply oversized paperweights taking up valuable space on the gym floor. The ADDuctor machine only works the short adductor muscles, which will actually result in a bulky upper inner thigh. Likewise, the ABDuctor machine fails to deliver its promise of toning the glutes. The actual muscles being worked by sitting on the abduction machine are the Piriformis and tensor fascia latae. I expect these are not the muscles you were hoping to tone. Furthermore, the adductor machine starts with your legs in a stretched position, making it easy to strain those inner thigh muscles.

These two isolated exercise machines don’t cause your body to burn much fuel, which will limit their effect on fat loss. It is much more effective, and safer, to work the inner and outer thighs with compound exercises. Side lunges, step-ups, Bulgarian squats or pile squats, for example.

5. Front Raise: The anterior deltoids get plenty of work with pressing exercises, so there is rarely any need to do additional work for them. Plus, like the triceps kickback, the muscle is only stressed during a small portion of the strength curve, reducing its effectiveness. Furthermore, one requires very good scapular/shoulder stability to avoid injury by overworking the muscles that stabilise the shoulder girdle, instead of the anterior deltoid. Better exercises to focus on are the military press and incline bench press.

6. The iPhone Curl: This is technically not an exercise but if you’re on your phone in the gym you are wasting time! You are at the gym to achieve a goal; socialise after your workout. Intensity is one of the most important components of your workout, getting distracted by your phone means weaker results and taking up space when someone else could be exercising in your spot.

Although any exercise you do in the gym has some benefit (and of course doing something is better than nothing), these three exercises are on the “if I have nothing better to do than waste time” list. Train smarter by choosing the most effective and efficient exercises for your workouts this year and make 2015 the Year of the Lean Machine.

Phil is a health practitioner and expert in body transformation. His services are available at Star Fitness (, online or at your home. Contact him though his website or