The physical fitness industry is booming due to an increase in health awareness. People are spending more time and money to become healthy and stay healthy. Physical exercise has been proven to improve mental and physical health, but what if we are going about it all wrong? The goal of this study is to prove that current forms of exercise do not work skeletal muscle to its full capability and to gain evidence for the design of exercise equipment that will exercise skeletal muscle more effectively. Three common exercises using a free weight and strength bands were evaluated for how well they exercise the elbow flexors. Static optimization was performed in order to determine the effectiveness of the free weight and strength band. This study shows that current exercises do not work muscles to their full potential. Motion capture data was taken of a subject performing the exercises and then imported into OpenSim for further analysis. Customized static optimization was performed based on the physiological parameters of skeletal muscle in order to calculate the muscle forces during the exercise. The results show that the elbow flexors were activated as low as 12.6% at the beginning of the exercise and as high as 100% at the end. The findings of this study will have an impact on rehabilitation therapy, surgical programs, and athletic training programs, as well as, provide insight into the design of an optimized moment of resistance for skeletal muscle.