9 EXERCISES/MACHINES TO AVOID
There are literally hundreds of different exercises you can do in the gym. Probably, in most cases, dozens you can do for each muscle or muscle group.
But some of them are just plain dangerous. They may be effective but the risk is not worth the potential reward when there are so many other options available.
First let me say that any exercise done with incorrect (or just plain sloppy) form has the potential to be harmful. Proper form is paramount. If you follow Olympic or powers lifting at all you know that some of the Eastern European countries have some of the best in the world. One of their “secrets”; they begin training with a broom stick and are not allowed to add weight until their form is near perfect. For a little personal antidote go back and read this prior article A Future Champion
Some of exercises to avoid may not appear too dangerous at first. But some of them, over a period of time, can cause irreversible damage. Then there are those that are just plain stupid.
Upright rows rotate your shoulder internally under load. You risk a shoulder impingement and undue strain. The internal rotation also puts considerable stress on the rotator cuff. Trust me, I’ve had two rotator cuff injuries and you don’t want one.
This exercise makes me cringe just watching someone else do it. It’s very popular bu,t because the weight is placed near your ankles, it puts major shear on the knee when the weight gets heavy and the knee is fully extended.
Behind the Neck Lat Pull-downs
This exercise put major stress on the shoulder by forcing external rotation of the shoulder joint under load leading to the same problems as upright rows. The same hold true for barbell presses behind the neck.
Any Ab Machine
Any ab machine I’ve ever seen is useless at best and injurious at worst. They place the majority of the load on your hip flexors and your lower spine. Besides putting undue stress on your spine they do very little to actually activate you abdominal muscles.
Really? Do you want to hyperextend you spine under load? On purpose?
These two machines aren’t so much dangerous as useless. They only work the small stabilizer muscles; they are not going to reduce the fat deposits on your hips or inner thighs and they are not going to strengthen the adductor or abductor muscles.
Seated Ab Rotation Machine
Here’s an idea; fix your hips in place and twist your spine from side to side against a load. Does that sound like a good idea to you?
Weighted Side Bends
This is not a bad exercise per se. I just see it used for the wrong reasons. The exercise will strengthen the obliques. But usually I see people (mostly women) using this exercise to reduce their waist. They are actually doing just the opposite. The obliques hypertrophy (grow larger) just like any other muscle. So, if a blocky waist is what you’re shooting for, side bends will do the trick.
Anything on a Bosu Ball (This is why we have emergency rooms)