Exercise names that got your hopes up – only to CRUSH them

You pretty much know what to expect when a trainer tells you to do a squat jump. It will involve squatting. It will involve jumping while squatting. And not a lot of fun (they aren’t called fun jumps). Ditto for sit-ups. There will be sitting up… over and over and over again. But some exercise names are stealthy little mothers.  In fact, unscientific studies show that the nicer the name, the more diabolical the exercise. Here is a list of the most deceptive exercise names and what they really entail.


What you think it is: I dunno, like a cross between a bathhouse hookupand some fabulously Mediterranean costume…

What it really is: A nightmarish, full body, combination exercise probably concocted in some Turkish prison. Somehow, you’re supposed to get yourself up from a lying down position while holding a weight overhead with a straight arm. Yeah, good luck with that one.


What you think it is: Heh, heh.

What it really is: You are literally jumping on a box. Not someone else’s “box.” Ooh, fun.


What you think it is: Well, obvi.

What it really is: Even though your legs are way over your head like it’s Friday night, you are not getting plowed –  by anybody. Also, everybody can now see that hole in your workout tights.


What it sounds like: A delightful powdered sugar bread-y bakery concoction. Maybe a charming, Russian folk dance maneuver?

What it really is: A v-sit with a heavy weight that works the obliques, rectus abdominus and transverse abdominus muscles. Suddenly, not so hungry anymore.


What you think it is: Sorry, but a girl/guy can dream, right?

What it really is: The only thing pressing your chesticles is a crushingly heavy set of dumbbells when your trembling arms give out.


What you think it is: Well, anything involving thrusting your hips sounds pretty good.

What it really is: You’re either humping the air or a heavy dumbbell. Simmer down.


What you think it is: The morning version of afternoon delight or coffee in bed while scrolling through your phone. Sounds lovely, but by this point, you know better.

What it really is: Some B.S., one-legged balancing row that makes you sorry you got up that morning.


What you think it is: Something involving big, flannel-wearing manly men? Yes, please.

What it really is: Oh, my back! Swinging a heavy AF kettlebell or dumbbell side-to-side like you’re chopping down a tree. You now totally understand why lumberjacks are so, well, jacked.


What you think it is: Anything involving dips is usually delicious. Chips & dip, chocolate-dipped anything, French-dip sandwiches. A cool dip in the swimming pool…

What is really is: A tricep exercise from hell where the only thing dipping is your butt towards the floor. And your ability to stay conscious through the pain.


What you think it is: Relaxation and, I dunno, actually kicking back? Please oh please oh please?

What it really is: Heavy weights being flung backwards with abandon by a muscle that you really didn’t even know existed until you can’t move it the next day. So. Not. Relaxing.


What you hope it is: Fancy laundry service? Trying to stay positive.

What it really is: A compound maneuver involving lifting a weight up from the floor to your deltoids and clavicles (the clean part), then lifting it above your head and holding it with straight arms and legs (the press). By this point, anything with the word press in it has become your enemy.


What you think it is: Not sure about that big fancy word in the middle, but the “self” and “release” part gives you a sophomoric giggle.

What it really is: Okay dirty birdy, it is a self-massage technique, usually involving foam rollers, massage sticks and therapy balls. But there’s nothing remotely pleasurable about it. Just unrelenting pain until that hot, stubborn, angry knot of muscle fibers release you from suffering.