T Nation

Over and Under-Rated Movements


Okay, thought this would be interesting so I thought I would kick things off.

Lifts that I believe to be over-rated:
1) Tricep Dips, It may just be because I weigh 240lbs, but dips have always seemed to be more trouble than they are worth for me, I always end up having trouble staying stable, thus turning it into a total upper body exercise as opposed to focussing on the triceps. Plus it's caused one of the only injuries I have had since I started training (straining one of my wrists)

2) Hypers - I really have no idea what weighted hypers are going to do for my lower back that isn't done by deadlifting and or squatting, yet they seem to be one of the in-things in my gym at the moment and with a lot of strength coaches.

3) Dumbell Flies --- in fact a lot of dumbell work done by people who are not yet strong enough to even hold the dumbells over 20kg's.... Until you obtain a good strength foundation which is easier to build with barbells and machines, I think you might as well stay away from dumbells for a lot of exercises other than perhaps curls, and dumbell bench. Certainly no point in a begginer doing lat-raises, and cuban presses e.t.c with 5kg dumbells.

1) Rack pulls - NOTHING and i mean NOTHING has helped my back and me to get my deadlift up like rack pulls. It also helps get your body accustomed to a heavier weight, giving extra confidence for that next deadlift pr attempt when you know you have rack-pulled 100lb or so more than it.

2) Tricep pushdowns -- Very few tricep movements allow me to focus as intently on the quality of the movement whilst still using appreciable weight as pushdowns, i'd make them a no.2 tricep movement behind close grip bench presses.

3)Some machine work.. Sure how dare I, right? Blasphemy. Well actually, some machines are great. I absolutely love the HS bench machines, the T-bar row machine, hack squat machine, rowing machine, I also use the smith machine from time to time, hell i even like the pec-dec, and the preacher curl machine!!

I hate all this machine-phobia that goes on. OF COURSE, you should be making the basics, ie pressing, pulling squat/dead/bench/mil/row/curl e.t.c the basis of your program (unless you are already so advanced that it is simply to high a workload for you without risking injury) However, machines make absolutely great finishers, just to keep getting that bit extra out of your workouts.

So what do you guys think... what's over/under-rated?


Overrated: Back Squats
Underrated: Front Squats


I might be wrong. But arent hypers suppose to be more focused on glutes and hamstrings, not lower back?


the glutes & hams are the synergists of the movement with the target supposed to be the erector spinae.


The only real overrated exercises I believe that exist are cable cross-overs and lateral rows. CC are fairly self-explanatory, but lateral rows I feel WILL decimate your shoulders over time and shouldn't be used by anyone.

Other than that, just about anything can be used effectively in a smart routine.

Most underrated: A2G Squats. I'll preach and preach and preach them all day.


glutes and hams are the synergists with the erector spinae supposed to be the target.


Underrated: Lifting heavy.



Weighted Chinups and pullups
Barbell Hack Squats
Bulgarian Split squats


Cable cross overs
Barbell Bench Press (I'm jsut sick of people asking how much I bench) overall it's not a bad exercise.


Over rated - the exact same exercises you've been doing the last 2 years but went up at most 5lbs for nearly similar sets and reps.

Underrated - the assistance exercises that you put last in your workouts and hardly ever seem to get to, but when you do get to them you do one set and say fuck it I'm over training.


Explain lateral rows please.

You don't mean upright rows by any chance, do you?


Whoops, I do. You may feel otherwise, but this is an opinion thread. I've known some experienced bodybuilders (and then myself as well) who have experienced nothing but detrimental progress in shoulders by doing these. I think there's a hundred other shoulder exercises that can do the exact same thing, but better and safer.


over rated:
flys on a flat bench. (decline flys are alot better)
Cable cross overs
Curls with loads of body english

Pull overs - these just hurt me

Split Bulgarians
Hack Squats
Military press


Another one:

Overrated: Skull Crushers
Underrated: PJR Pullovers



Floor press


Almost all ab exercises
1/4 squats, and ATG squats


Underrated: Power cleans.


I agree that front squats might be underrated compared to back squats, but you really think back squats are overrated?


Problem is the learning curve... not really worth the time/reward ratio.



curls (not heavy ones)
Full ROM


Walking lunges
Mostly lower body workouts
Behind the neck exercises


Overated: Bench Press, BB Curl
Underrated: Muscle Clean & Press, Lateral Rows, Seated Rows


I think it depends:

I think isolation movements are overrated for beginners and intermediate lifters. I see them more as a way to bring up and manually adjust symmetry. If you aren't big enough to tell what your real strengths and weaknesses are, I don?t' think they are as useful.

And on the reverse I think compounds and free weights are overrated for more advanced guys.

Essentially, if you are carving a physic you start with big heavy coarse tools like a big hammer and chisel but the closer you get to your goals, the more fine tools are needed and you might work down to mostly sanding and polishing.