7 Exercises you need to avoid


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
7 Exercises you need to avoid

Although it is true that there are no such things as "bad" exercises, certain faulty techniques can make an exercise useless and compromising.

While some of these exercises aren't optimal for fitness, some others should be avoided as they can easily lead to injury. However, it is important to understand that they are not always unsafe or unproductive. Adopting or avoiding any exercise technique depends on an individual's personal fitness goals and objectives. Read on to know more about these common red flags...

Spot reduction exercises:
An ineffective method of 'burning fat' followed by many people is spot reduction. The popularity of this belief can be largely attributed to the many exercise gimmicks that we often see in infomercials regarding localized weight reduction. But always keep in mind that weight loss can never be isolated to a particular area. Localized strengthening and toning exercises will only help to firm muscles but will have no effect on the fat content of the target area. A better alternative is to adopt a well-rounded full-body weight reduction program.

Leg extensions (Seated):
A very popular exercise for working the anterior thigh muscles, seated leg extensions are actually one of the most dangerous exercises in the gym. This is because the exercise places an unhealthy amount of stress on the knee joint. According to a research published in the "Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy", individuals who worked on the leg extension machines found no benefit during functional tests. This can be particularly dangerous for those who have any kind of knee problems. Safer alternatives are simple lunges and squats without any added weights.

Leg press:
Another form of exercise that should be avoided is the leg press as this can place undue amount of stress on the lower back. This can thus predispose a person to low back injuries. Although, many claim that seated leg press exercises can train your hams, quadriceps and gluts, in reality, it does not engage these muscles at all. All it does is force the spine into a flexed position. Hence, instead of this, try working on body weight squats.

Seated abduction or adduction:
Just like leg press, seated abduction/adduction movements can place great amounts of stress on your spine. Also, such movements only train these muscles as prime movers. But, in reality, during actual physical activity, they are used only as stabilizers and not as prime movers. An easy and effective alternative is lunges which can be used to train these muscles for their actual purpose of stabilizing.

Leg curls:
According to strength and conditioning coach, Charlie Weingroff, exercises like deadlifts are more effective than leg curls. This is because the latter trains the hams only as knee flexors while, during activity, they are used mainly as hip extensors.

Sit ups:
As per the recommendations by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a person should never apply more than 3400 newtons of force on his back at a time. Crossing this limit would place unnecessary stress on the back muscles leading to stress or injury. On an average, a regular sit-up program contributes around 3413 newtons of force on the back muscles. To avoid this, opt for short range crunch movements or tabletops.

Lat pulldown exercises (behind the head):
This is a big "no-no" without proper form, as this may affect your shoulder joint functioning. Only those with extreme shoulder joint flexibility can opt for this exercise and that too, with extreme care for correct form. A better alternative for working your lats is by pulling the bar towards your chest and not behind the head. But, remember to keep your spine straight and abs pulled in while performing this.


Commander's of Penmai
May 28, 2011
new info viji...

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