Just like not all food is healthy, not all exercises are beneficial for your body and your health. In order to get perfect muscles, we often neglect the advice of influential people who are constantly warning us about the dangers of certain exercises in the gym and outside.
The following chapter provides a list of several exercises that were marked by experts as dangerous because of poor performance or the negative effects that they have on the human body.
While doing this exercise, your arms are by your side, and your palms are facing forward. The problem with this exercise is that your shoulders become more vulnerable to injury the further you move from your position. Some consequences of this exercise include abrasions to the deltoid, cuff muscles, and bursae.
If the goal of this exercise is to train our triceps, then there is a better exercise than doing bench dips. Instead, you could use parallel bars where your hands are parallel to each other, and your head leans behind where it belongs.
Chin-Ups and Pull-Ups
The problem with this exercise is that many people try to do chin-ups before they are physically and mentally ready for such an exercise. In such cases, doing this exercise results in injuries that prevent you from doing any other workout.
An even more dangerous exercise would be pull-ups. The difference between chin-ups and pull-ups is that pull-ups don’t involve lifting the body up with your hands but rather lifting the body up with the help of your hips. This exercise became popular with the introduction of CrossFit.
CrossFit, being a high-intensity combination of several exercise interval training is not for everybody. CrossFit requires extreme physical readiness. Consequently, every exercise from CrossFit can be dangerous for people who are not physically ready for such a regimen.
Deadlifts are very demanding and technically complex for the entire body, and they are often done incorrectly. The biggest danger coming from this exercise concerns the spine. It is possible for you to damage your disks if you do deadlifts in the wrong manner, and damage to the spine is always devastating.
One of the most common mistakes when doing deadlifts is the fact that people often lift weights using their backs or only their hands without using the core and the entire body. Just like all other exercises, physical readiness is crucial for this exercise. A lack of physical readiness often results in back, hand, or muscle injury.
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
This exercise is used to train the muscles of your back. Although a lot of people would say that this exercise was very useful for them, they would neglect to mention the problems that occurred during or after that exercise. The biggest risk with this exercise lies in the consequences that it can have on your shoulders.
In order to perform this exercise, you must rotate your shoulders as much as you can so that you are able to pull down the lat behind your neck. Here again, the muscles of your shoulders are exposed the most, and this can result in neck strain or strain on the top of your shoulders.
Once again, adequate preparation is crucial if you want to perform this exercise successfully. However, as is the case with many of the previously mentioned exercises, there is a replacement exercise that you can do instead of a wide-grip lat pulldown and reduce the risk of injury, and that exercise is the front pulldown.
The Seated Rotation Machine
The seated rotation machine is an exercise that works your hips and abs while sitting. This exercise is proven to be very stressful to your lower back because all emphasis is on the lower back, and a sitting position is not something suitable for doing exercises. When doing this exercise, your body sits while you twist your hips or torso from one side to another, which results in significant pressure on your lower back.
Instead of putting such pressure on your lower back by doing such an exercise, you could do a standing twist of your torso that, unlike seated twisting, would not put so much pressure on your lower back.
The problem with this exercise is that it places a lot of strain on the shoulder joint, which exposes the shoulder and upper arm to injury. If you are going to do this exercise, try initiating the lift by driving with your legs and turning it into a high pull movement instead of a rowing movement. This will allow you to move the weight differently, thus placing less strain on your shoulder joint.
This type of lunge is different from the traditional lunge in that your knee travels across the body in front rather than forward and backwards. While it provides a great burn for your thigh muscles, the movement involved in this exercise violates the basic principle that your knee, hip, and shoulder joints should be kept in alignment when you are doing load-bearing exercises.
This exercise introduces stress to the hip socket, as well as the iliotibial (IT) band and tensor fasciae latae (TFL) muscle in your knee.
Stick to traditional lunges instead. If you want to make it more challenging, you can add a height differential: stand on a low platform and lunge forward or backwards off of the platform.
While this is a machine rather than a specific exercise, it is still a good idea to avoid it. The problem with ab machines is that they encourage poor posture and can cause muscle imbalances because they tend to target only one or two muscles in your core when there are many different muscles in that area that need to be targeted for a proper, balanced workout.
Anything That Causes Actual Pain
Yes, working out can be uncomfortable, and it can (and should) cause your muscles to ache or burn – that means that you are using your muscles and building your strength. But anytime that you feel actual pain – sharp and sudden – you should stop immediately.
Either you are pushing your body past its limits, or you are doing something that your body is not meant to do, and both of those should be avoided if you do not want to injure yourself.
As we have seen in this chapter, not all exercises are good for your body and your health. Several of them actually seem to have more negative than positive effects. The most crucial thing to know before going for a workout is your physical readiness.
It is crucial to know whether your body is ready for such training and to understand the limits of your own body. Doing exercises that your body can’t handle is a path that leads towards imminent injury. No amount of pull-ups or twisting can compensate for a permanent back or muscle injury.
Remember, just because you see people doing it on TV does not mean that you and everybody else can do the same exercises. People who are very experienced and have a high level of fitness will be able to do certain exercises and movements properly, whereas a beginner will likely injure him or herself.
Try and stick to the exercises that were discussed in earlier chapters of this book, or work with a professional trainer – at least at the start – to make sure that you are doing your exercises properly and that you are not pushing your body further than is healthy.
You can work your way up to more difficult and challenging exercises, but if you injure yourself by doing too much too soon, then you are not going to achieve your fitness goals.
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