Risky workout exercises are dangerous to your health. Who has time to waste on ineffective, risky exercises? Not you. So ditch these seven exercises that won’t deliver the results you want, and will even cause injury.
Risky No. 1: Lat Pull-down Behind the Head
The problem: Only people with very mobile shoulder joints can keep their spines straight enough to do this exercise properly. So the move , done wrong , can lead to several complications including shoulder impingement or worse, a tear in the rotator cuff. And if the bar hits the back of the neck, it could injure cervical vertebrae.
Risky No. 2: Military Press Behind the Head
This shoulder move, in which you lift a barbell up and down behind the head, can cause the same problems as the lat pull–down behind the head.
No. 3: Upright Row
The problem: Pulling weights, a barbell, or a weighted cabled bar up under your chin can compress the nerves in the shoulder area, impinging the shoulder and causing possible nerve damage.
No. 4: Leg Press with Cramped Knees
From a reclining position, you push the plate up and bring it down in this common exercise to work the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. The problem comes when you bend your legs too far which can hurt your back and knees. If you begin experiencing pain, do not bend any further.
Leg Press: Safer Moves
If you want to do a lying leg press, keep your butt from rotating off the back of the machine, and don’t bend past 90 degrees at the knee.
No. 5: Squats on the Smith Machine
The problem: The bar on the machine doesn’t give, which can force the body into risky positions. Plus, people tend to put their feet farther in front of their bodies when doing squats on the machine, which makes matters worse.
No. 6: Bad Form on Cardio Machines
The problem: Hunching over or using a death-grip on the handrail cheats your body and can throw off your alignment, jarring your spine, shoulders, and elbows.
Better Technique on Cardio Machines
Don’t set the incline or resistance so high that it causes you to hang on to the machine too tightly. Use a natural gait with a light grip. For a more challenging workout, hold on lightly with one hand and move the other arm, switching arms periodically. Walking on a treadmill without holding on also helps strengthen your core. And save the reading for after your workout so you can focus on good form.
Risky No. 7: Exercises for Spot Reduction
People who do strengthening and toning exercises in an effort to trim fat from a certain area — thighs, hips, stomach, or arms — have the wrong idea. Although these exercises can help firm muscles, if the targeted area still carries an extra layer of fat, it won’t look much different. You can’t isolate fat loss to one part of the body.
Watch this video to see the risky exercises you should avoid: