5 Exercises That May Do More Harm Than Good

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Nothing beats exercising to keep the body healthy, toned, and slim. However, not all types of exercises are good for the body. In fact, some of the most common types of exercises are dangerous if not done right. The kind of exercises you have to do or avoid will depend on a number of things and some exercises in this list may not be always unsafe for other people. You can do your own research, determine your own physical limitations, and talk to a fitness expert to determine the proper form and technique of some exercises.

What Makes an Exercise Dangerous?

Unnatural movements, patterns, or forms that cause discomfort and pain as well as movements that increase imbalance of the muscles are considered dangerous or harmful. Any movement that requires mobility of the joints beyond your range is also dangerous; it could cause injury. If an exercise’s benefits are outweighed by their negative effects, don’t do the exercise at all. Below are exercises that you should think twice about adding to your routine:

Behind-the-Head Pull-Downs

This is a popular exercise that tone the shoulders and arms. But it puts too much strain on the shoulder joints and the back of the neck. Pulling down the bars while doing outward rotations of the humerus creates an imbalance on the shoulder joints. The behind-the-head pull-down also causes ligaments and tendons to overstretch leading to strain and injury.

Leg Lifts

From yoga to boot camp, the leg lift is a popular exercise that tones the lower abdomen. You lie on your back and lift your legs straight off the ground, letting your legs hover just several inches off the floor.

While this exercise targets the abs, it puts incredible stress on the lower back which causes pain and injury. Despite being a great workout for the abdominal muscles, its negative effects on the back outweigh its benefits.

Seated Knee Extension

This exercise is not kind to the knees at all especially when the knees are fully extended! When you lift heavy weights in this position, you are doing movements that are unnatural to your knees. When you put too much strain on the knees, the tendons will compress the knees’ cartilage, causing stress on the joints. This exercise should not be performed by those with knee injuries, those with weak knees, and those who want to avoid any exercise that will harm the knees.

Sit-Ups or Crunches

Sit-ups or crunches are largely controversial because it’s been found to put enormous stress on the lower back; its long-term effects include back problems and even back injury. Crunches engage the abdominal muscles and could be tweaked to work the oblique. These days, most trainers discourage people from doing crunches but there are others who are still fans of this exercise.

Inner and Outer Thigh Machine Exercises

You know those machines that engage inner and outer thigh muscles are very popular right? They’re not necessarily safe though. When you lift weighs in a seated position, you are straining the smaller muscles and the lower back. This exercise could lead to back and hip problems.


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