Don’t believe everything you see in the weight room. Your first impulse may be to dismiss these three exercises, but the joke would be on you!

If you’ve ever picked up a VHS off the shelf at Blockbuster—you still do that too, right?—you know that movies often aren’t what they appear to be at first glance.

  • “The Deer Hunter” isn’t about hunting deer.
  • “The Neverending Story” actually, you know, ends. There’s even a sequel.
  • “50 Shades of Grey” is not a coloring book.

Boost Muscle Growth on the Cellular Level

Strength training is the same way. Plenty of movements look like a whole lot of weirdness—or a whole lot of nothing—when you see them in a 10-second YouTube clip without context. But with a little more context, they turn out to be just the thing you needed all along to build an epic overhead press or nail that first pull-up.

These three movements are all worthy of being performed without a shred of self-consciousness. Still, it’s a good idea to be prepared for the inevitable question: “What is that working?”