Some exercises seem healthy, but can actually lead to injury.
I remember when I was young, doing the presidential fitness test in school, and excelling at the generic exercises that we were told would determine whether or not we were in good health.
Now as an adult, I know some of those exercises aren’t really that great for everyone, so it was a weird benchmark to set for American children everywhere. That being said, the exercise isn’t really the problem; it is more important to pay attention to form.
When you work out with a personal trainer, they generally pay a lot of attention to your form, because you can injure yourself very easily because of improper form. For those of you who have thrown your back out doing something simple like picking up a plastic bag, you are my people, and you understand. Form is everything.
That being said, here are a five exercises you should just stop doing, because its too easy to injure yourself.
Sit-ups- Everyone wants 6-pack abs, but there are better ways to get one than by doing sit-ups. You can easily injure or strain both your spine and your neck with sit-ups. The way they are performed isn’t natural for the human body, and yanking your neck upwards is just asking for an injury. Try planks, an ab machine, or ab roller instead.
Chin-ups- While pull-ups are a good exercise that work a lot of important muscle groups, chin-ups can strain your neck. The idea is that if you are focused on getting your chin above the bar, you are likely to do the exercise wrong and strain your neck. If you do a pull-up properly, your chin should naturally clear the bar. Even if it doesn’t, not clearing the bar is way better than straining to get your head above it, and hurting yourself.
READ MORE: Four Types of Small Group Exercises
Chair Dips- While dips overall are a good exercise for upper body strength, chair dips are often done improperly. Doing a chair dip with improper form can put excess strain on your shoulder joints. If you are going to attempt them, must make sure to turn your hands out, so your shoulders don’t end up in a weird position.
Lat Pulldowns (behind the neck)- When you are doing a pull-down, you should NEVER pull the bar down behind your head. This puts strain on your neck, and rotates your shoulders into a dangerous position. Lean back a little and pull the bar down in front of you. Your neck will thank you.
Shrugs- Shrugs are another exercise that isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s difficult to do them correctly. Most people take on too much weight, and end up straining their neck and putting pressure on their joints. Long story short, it isn’t that beneficial, especially for the risk involved. Try dead lifts instead.