We exercise to keep our bodies fit and healthy, as well as to maintain our weight, or lose the weight that we have gained over time. Exercise is a healthy and natural way to keep the body toned while you develop your muscles, your stamina and keep your heart and other organs healthy. What could possibly go wrong with exercise, right?
You might be surprised to learn there are exercises that can actually be counter productive to your healthy objectives. Some exercises may pose as a detour on your road to fitness. This is because these exercises, when not done properly or when not appropriate for your body size, height and other factors, can cause injury and actually be a health hazard for you.
At first it may seem like muscle pain that you think is finally developing your muscles and your body, but over time it would show as some strain or other health problems if you exercise continuously and not in the right way. It is best to learn what exercises to stop doing before you injure yourself. Here are 11 exercises that you should discontinue and suggestions on what you can do instead:
This exercise is done by grasping the barbell facing your body.
In an upright, standing position, you pull the bar straight up to your chin and do it repetitively.
This is supposed to develop the upper trapezius muscles and the deltoids, but the exercise can put too much stress on the rotator cuff and the wrists, which could lead to injury.
What You Can Do Instead:If the objective is to develop the deltoid and trapezius muscles.
This can also be achieved by doing push ups, instead of upright rows.
Hover leg lifts are done by lying on your back and lifting your legs off the ground for a few minutes at a time. This should develop your abs and your core.
However, if done too much or if not appropriate for your body size and weight, this exercise can lead to lower back and pelvic injuries. This type of exercise puts too much stress on the lower back.
What You Can Do Instead:Developing the abs is one of the most popular goals when doing exercise. This is why some people would do just about any form of exercise to attain this goal. To avoid injury, the best way to form your abs is to do pelvic lifts.
All you do is lie down on your back with your knees bent. Just raise your pelvis while pulling in your abdominal muscles. Hold for 10 seconds, then lower down gently. Repeat 10 times.
Side bends are done by holding a dumbbell on one hand and bending to the side where that dumbbell is. The purpose of the dumbbell is to add more weight and therefore add more effort.
This is supposed to lose the side fat and love handles. However, side bends with added weight of the dumbbells can cause injury if excessively done. It can cause side trauma and muscle strain.
What You Can Do Instead:What you really want to happen is to lose that love handles and make your curves smooth. Side bends are too risky to do.
If you want to lose those unwanted fats on your sides, try a cardio workout or side bends without the weights.
Lat pull-downs behind the head are done by sitting on a machine with a cable bar overhead that you use to pull down behind your head. This is done to develop the trapezius muscles and deltoids.
The exercise has several risks in it. One, you can hit your neck repetitively, which can injure the cervical vertebrae. It can also injure your shoulder joints and spine.
What You Can Do Instead:
One safe alternative in doing lat pull-downs is to pull down the bar in front of you, rather than at the back. This will stabilize your position and prevent any shoulder injuries. You can also do push ups instead of lat pull-downs.
Military press behind the head is a lot more like lat pull-downs behind the head, but the power exertion is pushing up rather than pulling down.
Using a barbell, you push upward to raise the barbell, then pull it down behind the head and repeat the process. This exercise has several risks in it.
One, you could develop a muscle strain and shoulder joint injury. The barbell could hit the back of the neck and cause an injury. You could accidentally drop the barbell over your head, which could pose an even bigger problem.
What You Can Do Instead:Instead of the pushing and pulling the barbell behind your head, do it in front of your head while keeping your back straight. This will develop the same set of muscles, while preventing any form of injury.
Thigh exercises using a machine can be an easy way to do leg exercises, and develop leg and thigh muscles. However, machines can cause injury when you don’t use them properly.
Inner and outer thigh machine exercises, if you do them excessively, can lead to muscle strains and leg injuries. It can also cause lower back injuries.
What You Can Do Instead:Instead of using the machine, do the manual leg exercises and some squats. This will develop your leg muscles the same as using a machine, and it will prevent leg and lower back injuries.
You do seated knee extensions by sitting on a machine and letting your feet lift a weight. This is said to develop the quadriceps and other thigh muscles.
However, this form of exercise can be risky for the knees especially when they are fully extended. Too much resistance or stress on the knees can strain the tendons and compress the cartilage in the knees, and this can lead to injuries.
What You Can Do Instead:If the goal is to develop your thigh muscles, simple lunges and squats will do the trick. This manual way of exercising the knees will also make sure that they are properly lubricated. You can also sit down on a chair and do the knee extensions, minus the weights. This should develop your thigh muscles.
Behind the neck shoulder presses are highly exclusive for body builders and gym enthusiasts that work out to develop their trapezius muscles and deltoids to the fullest extent.
If you are not in this category, you may want to hold back or avoid this exercise altogether, as it poses risks for injuries if you don’t do them properly. You do this exercise with barbells pushed and pulled behind the head. These can lead to should joint injuries and neck injuries.
What You Can Do Instead: You can do push ups instead, especially if your goal is to develop the deltoid muscles. If you are not working out to be a heavy weight lifter, you can tone down on extreme exercises like these and leave them to the experts.
Abdominal machines develop the abs, the legs and the arms – all in one shot. While this may seem harmless and could even be ideal in developing your muscles, it can lead to arm, leg or shoulder injuries if you don’t use it properly.
What You Can Do Instead:It is safer to tackle each body part one by one with specific exercises for them. This is to prevent injuries and to give enough focus on the part you want to develop. An alternative for abdominal machines are crunches and bicycling.
Twisting the mid-body section is an exercise to burn the excess fats and develop the curves in stomach area. It is done by either sitting, standing or bent over.
While it may seem like a harmless type of exercise, it can cause lower back and pelvic injuries if you overdo it or don’t do it properly. Add to that is the possibility of overly rotating your back, which can do some potentially-serious damage.
What You Can Do Instead:Doing side bends minus the dumbbells or bending over to touch your toes is a safer alternative as to twisting. Also, lose the added artificial weights like dumbbells or barbells to prevent injuries.
Cardio exercise may seem like the easiest and safest way to do exercise but even that has its own risks, too. Cardio exercise should not be done for more than 45 minutes.
In that span of time, you will reach about 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, and 45 minutes is the breaking point. This can lead to heart muscle problems.
What You Can Do Instead:Cardio is still a good workout as long as you stick to the 45-minute rule. The best time is between 20 and 30 minutes. You also want to alternate cardio with other routines, like Pilates or yoga.
Exercise is a great way to reinvent yourself. You can develop your physical strength while boosting your self-esteem. But exercise should not be a source of injury or other physical problems. The smart thing to do is to seek professional advice from a gym instructor or fitness trainer on what is the best program to achieve your physical goals. If your main objective is to become sexy and healthy, you should give your all and do it the right way.