While an active lifestyle is necessary for a healthy heart, body mind and soul, the ugly truth is that there are some exercises that are extremely harmful for you. Certain gym machines and exercise equipment can do more harm than good to your body and overall wellness. Here’s a list of 5 such exercises that are not healthy for your body in the long run.
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Arm circles and weights:
Gym instructors often make us do arm circles using 3 to 5 pound weights. This can lead to pain and shoulder impingement syndrome over time! Due to the position of the arms and the added force from the weights pulling on the joints against gravity, the shoulder joint may suffer extreme trauma. Instead, do a set of dumbbell lateral raise that helps ease tension on the shoulder joint.
Superman exercise or any bodyweight exercises:
A popular group strength training exercise, usually performed in Pilates and also called as Superman, includes lifting your arms and legs to compress and strengthen your back muscles. Beware! These are the most harmful kind of exercises and can damage your spine. Instead of the Superman pose, opt for Bird-dog pose. This pose applies much less compressive force on the spine and trains your low back to stay stable during movement.
Believe it or not, simple sit-ups can also harm your neck and spine to a certain extent. As we spend most of our day sitting (at a desk or behind a wheel) or lying down, (sleeping or zoning out on the couch) it is important not to lie down during our sit-ups. Instead, use an exercise ball or a stability ball for added intensity and target your core muscles safely.
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If you aren’t exactly a well-trained athlete, or if you are basically a beginner, then pull-ups may not be a good option for you. The rapid pull places significant stress on the shoulders, which are highly mobile and vulnerable joints. Power exercises such as this are most suitable only for highly trained individuals. Try the standing cable lat-pull downs, instead. They provide the same benefits but in a standing position so there is no strain on your shoulders, wrists and spine.
A popular exercise for targeting the quadriceps, seated knee-extensions pose major risks to the knees when performed with the knees fully extended. Lifting heavy weights in this position is not what the knee was designed to do. Instead, go for simple squats and lunges that will work your thigh muscles safely and effectively. If you want to expand on these exercises then team them up with sports like soccer, basketball, or volleyball.
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