When you are exercising, avoiding injury should be one of your main priorities. There are a lot of exercises that are great for building up your strength and stamina, but there are also some dangerous workouts that are too risky to perform and don’t give you much benefit.
Here are seven exercises that you might want to avoid so that you don’t get hurt.
1. Neck bridges
Neck bridges are popular amongst some Greco-Roman wrestlers and some professional boxers. This grueling exercise involves lying on your back and lifting your neck off the ground using your neck muscles. Just watching someone perform this exercise looks very painful!
This exercise is dangerous because it puts a lot of stress on the neck and can lead to serious injury. So unless you are dedicated to becoming a professional fighter, this type of exercise will do you no good.
Alternative to neck bridges: Neck Resistance Exercises. Use a resistance band or towel and place it around your forehead or the back of your head. Apply resistance with your hand and try to move your head in different directions while using your neck muscles to resist the movement.
2. Behind-the-neck lat pulldowns
Another risky neck exercise that unless you are a professional athlete or competing for the Olympics, you may want to avoid. Behind-the-neck lat pulldowns involve pulling a bar down behind your neck, which can put unnecessary stress on the shoulder joint and lead to rotator cuff injuries.
Alternative: Front lat pulldowns, done with the bar in front of the body, are a safer alternative that can help you target the same muscle groups.
3. Upright rows
This awkward exercise involves pulling a wide barbell with weights on each end up towards your chin, then releasing, and pulling up back up multiple times. This type of exercise can put a lot of stress on the shoulders and lead to rotator cuff injuries. Unless you are aspiring to become a professional bodybuilder, you have no business doing it.
Alternative to upright rows: Dumbbell rows. This is where you pull the weights toward your chest instead of your chin. This exercise is a safer alternative that can target the same muscle groups.
4. High-impact plyometrics
High-impact plyometrics involves explosive movements, such as jumping or hopping. While the exercises may look pretty awesome, they put a lot of stress on your knees, joints, muscles, and lower back. Athletes who play sports such as basketball or volleyball. So unless you are a
involves jumping and landing, which can put a lot of stress on the knees and lower back, making it a dangerous workout.
Alternative to high-impact plyometrics: Low-impact plyometrics, such as box jumps, are a safer alternative that can still help you improve your explosiveness and power, without putting unnecessary stress on your knees and lower back.
5. Straight-legged deadlifts
Straight-legged deadlifts is an exercise that involves lifting a weight from the ground without bending your knees, which can put a lot of stress on the lower back, making it a dangerous workout.
Alternative to Straight-legged deadlifts: Bent-legged deadlifts, where you bend your knees as you lift the weight, are a safer alternative that can still work your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, while minimizing your risk of injury.
6. Behind-the-neck shoulder presses
Behind-the-neck shoulder presses involves pressing a weight overhead from behind your neck, which can put a lot of stress on the shoulders and lead to rotator cuff injuries.
Alternative to behind-the-neck shoulder presses: Overhead presses, done with the weight in front of the body, are a safer alternative that can help you target the same muscle groups while minimizing your risk of injury.
7. Behind-the-back barbell shrug
This exercise involves holding a barbell behind the back and shrugging the shoulders upwards. This movement can put a lot of stress on the spine and the shoulder joints, leading to pain and injury.
Alternative to behind-the-back barbell shrug: A safer alternative to this exercise is the dumbbell shrug, where the weights are held at the sides of the body and the shoulders are shrugged upwards. This movement reduces the stress on the spine and the shoulder joints while still targeting the same muscle groups.
When it comes to exercise, simplicity is often the key to success. While there may be a temptation to add complicated exercises or intricate movements to your routine in the hopes of achieving better results, the reality is that simple exercises can be just as effective, if not more so.
In fact, complicated exercises may actually increase your risk of injury, particularly if you don’t have a solid foundation of strength and stability.
To achieve great results without putting unnecessary strain on your body, focus on simple, compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups at once. So, when you plan your workout routine, just know that sometimes less is more.