The 19 Stupidest Exercises I've Ever Seen

By Nick Nilsson
Author of 30-Second Ab-Solution


In the course of my experience working and training in gyms, I've seen people doing some incredibly stupid exercises.

Unfortunately, it's usually because these people have not been properly instructed in exercise technique.

Here are some of the top winners. Remember, these are actual exercises that I've seen people do. I made the names of the exercises up to match the lunacy of how they look.



1. Dumbbell Hair Combs

Start by holding a dumbbell in front of you. Do a front raise with it then whip the dumbbell back and over the top of your head like you're combing your hair with it. Make sure to just miss your skull.


2. Hog-Tied Face-Rubs

Lie on your stomach on the floor. Grasp your ankles behind your back and rub your face back and forth on the ground repeatedly. Continue until you've had enough.


3. Abdominal Earthquakes

Lie on the floor on your back in the classic start position of a crunch. Now yank as hard as you can on the back of your head up and down and thrash your legs around in the air like you're fending off starving dogs. This evidently works your abs. You will resemble Jello that has just been dropped on the floor. Your face should be as red as a tomato by the time you're done.


4. The Arm Wrecker

Do one cheating, momentum-filled rep of an arm exercise with ridiculously heavy weight then swing your arms around as fast as you can in a circle to get blood to the muscle. This technique will either help your arm grow or will smack the person waiting to use the machine/weights next.


5. Pelvic Demolisher

Stand with your fingers interlocked behind your head. Do a pelvic thrust forward and drop your spinal column down and backwards about 6 inches. This exercise is best done in front of a large group of people.


6. Dumbbell Doggy Digs

Bend over at the waist so that your back is rounded completely over like an arch. Your legs should be completely straight and locked out. You should look like you are trying hard to touch your toes but not really succeeding. Hold two dumbbells down at arms-length. Now spin them round and round repeatedly just off the floor so that you resemble a dog digging a hole.


7. Pec Rockets

Set the pec deck machine with far too much weight for you to handle safely. Make sure you are very sweaty and slippery before attempting this one. First, use your entire bodyweight to get one arm pad up to the front. Then, throw yourself at the other one to get it to the front. Hold them there for a half-second then get shot four feet out across the floor as you squirt from the machine like a greased banana.


8. Rush-Hour Bench Press

This exercise is done on the vertical seated chest press machine that has a foot pedal to help raise the weight to the starting position. Use this pedal at the bottom of every single rep to bounce the weight back up. Your footwork will resemble that of someone in rush-hour traffic going from 0 to 60 to 0 every 3 seconds.


9. Close-Grip, Behind-The-Neck Shoulder Press

Sit in a shoulder press station, gripping the bar overhead with about 6 inches between your hands. Bring the bar down directly behind your head. Be sure to lean forward 45 degrees and round your back over so that your shoulder joints and lower back each get their fair share of trauma.


10. C.P.R. Bench Press

Start by loading your safe maximum bench press weight onto the bar. Now add 20 more pounds just to be safer. Have your spotter lift the bar off the rack for you. Lower it 2 inches on your own power then allow it to drop and cave in your rib cage.

Be sure your spotter is a strong deadlifter before attempting this exercise as you will need them to pull the bar off you at the bottom of every rep. When your spotter has pulled the bar off you after the first rep and is trying to put it back on the racks, yell out "I've got six more reps!"


11. Trampoline Presses

Set yourself up on a bench press station with approximately 5 to 50% more weight than you can safely handle. Unrack the bar, drop it on your rib cage at 200 m.p.h., then use the elasticity of your bone and cartilage to get the weight back up. Your rib cage should bend inwards at least 2 to 3 inches on each rep.


12. Dumbbell Bowling

This one works only with round dumbbells. Do a set of dumbbell flyes. At the end of the set, don't set the weight down gently. Roll them out of your hands directly to the sides in an attempt to knock over the people to either side of you. A broken toe gets you 5 points while a broken ankle gets you 20.


13. Spastic Colon Squats

You don't want to know.


14. Behind-The-Neck Pulldowns to the Waist

Take a wide grip on the pulldown bar. Set the weight as light as possible. If you can attach a helium balloon to it to further reduce the resistance, that's even better. Pull the bar down behind your head. Continue the motion down your middle back until the bar is level with your waistband. Let the bar up as fast as possible and repeat.


15. Wide Grip Spaz-Chicken Pushdowns

Hook a pulldown bar to a high pulley. Take a wide grip on the bar (near the ends). Do a quick pushdown movement from there. You will look like a chicken having a panic attack.


16. Finger-In-The-Light-Socket Pull-Ups

This one doesn't require much of an explanation as you've probably seen it in action before. If you've ever seen someone thrash around so hard to complete a pull-up rep that they kick themselves in the teeth, you know what I'm talking about.


17. Bug Masher Push-Ups

This is a variation of the push-up that requires a lot of abdominal flexibility. Get into the top push-up position. Now, without bending your arms, slap your pelvis against the ground as though trying to squish a bug with it. Flop up and down repeatedly like this until you either rupture something or someone comes up and asks you if you're okay.


18. Hack Machine Back Breakers

Set up in the hack squat machine facing the machine instead of the normal way (facing out). Unrack the sled then lower it down like a front squat. Be sure to round your back completely over as you lower the sled down in to the squat. Your body should resemble a "C" shape (note: this posture may become permanent after a few sets).


19. Barbell Bench Presses in a Deserted Gym

This exercise is the most dangerous one of the bunch. I used to go to a gym that operated on a card-lock system so people could get in and work out after hours when there was no supervision.

I came into the gym later in the evening one day and found somebody lying on the bench with a heavy barbell stuck on his chest and yelling for help. I ran over and pulled it off him as fast as I could. When I asked him how long he had been stuck under the bar, he told me about half an hour!!


Remember that this is just a small sample of things I have actually seen people doing.

Please be sure when you do your exercises that you take the time to learn proper form and, if you do see someone performing an exercise that is potentially harmful, tactfully assist them.



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