Regular exercising is necessary for being in shape and leading a healthy and happy life. In fact, lack of physical activity can be one of the main factors causing various chronic diseases. However, some papers suggest that injuries are inevitable consequences of exercising. More than exercising itself, an approach to training can lead to such incidents. Being in bad shape, following unbalanced training programs, not cooling down or warming up, and having unrealistic goals are just some of the factors causing strains or injuries. The risk of injury also greatly depends on the type of exercise you’re doing. Here are some exercises that pose the most danger.
Abdominal crunches are the most obvious way to build yourself a perfect set of six packs, but in fact, they can cause serious injuries. What’s there to be injured, you might ask. It’s a simple movement when you just need to lie down and slowly raise your upper body part, right? Not quite. While rounding your lower back to bend at the waist, your discs are being pushed back toward the spinal cord, which can cause a herniated disc in the lower back. If you want to build six-pack abs, you can do that in a much safer and equally efficient way with planks, alternating heel touches, bicycle kicks, Russian twists, captain’s chair and flutter kicks.
This exercise targets several shoulder muscles, and it has long been considered a staple element of workout. However, by elevating and rotating your shoulders inward, you are exposing your rotator cuff to a great deal of stress, which can eventually lead to injury. Another common consequence of such effort is shoulder impingement syndrome, which causes difficulty and/or pain when extending the arms above head. A safer alternative to this potentially dangerous exercise would be lateral dumbbell raises.
Seated Knee Extensions
Anyone with experience in treating injuries would tell you that knees are quite commonly exposed to injuries. For gym-goers, a seated leg extension machine is more often than not the culprit for such incidents. Knee joints are much more sensitive than they appear, and if you put them under a lot of stress, you can easily get injured. In that case, you should call professionals to help you deal with such a serious sporting injury. There are many other great exercises that are even more effective and lot less dangerous. Goblet squats, or any other kind of squats will work fine.
Behind the Head Pull-Downs
Strengthening your upper back is an important goal, but it doesn’t justify the means, especially when it comes to behind the head pull-downs. Pulling down the bar to the back of your neck puts a lot of stress on the shoulders by unnaturally bending them backward. This exercise, especially when done with a lot of weight, can cause rotator cuff injury. It is especially dangerous for people performing desk jobs, who probably already have rounded shoulders from hunching toward the computer screen. Instead of this exercise, do regular pull-ups or pull-downs.
We see a lot of bench dips in workout tutorials and in the gym. They are known as a great vigorous exercise for thoroughly working out your triceps and anterior deltoids. However, although the reward that comes with this exercise is great, the risk of doing it outweighs it significantly. Bench dips put your hands in a rather unnatural position. With your hands placed so far behind your body you are putting serious stress on the front of your shoulders. Putting weight plates on your legs can increase the risk even more. Bench dips can be very useful and safe, but only when your shoulders are strong enough and when you’re performing the exercise right. To put your shoulders in a much safer position, it is better to try tricep push-downs instead.
There are many other potentially dangerous exercises, including kettlebell swings, bent over rows, overhead squats and deadlifts. With all of them, the risk of injuries decreases if you know the correct form and have strong and stable joints. Until you reach that stadium, it is best to avoid them.