5 Exercises That May Hurt You Instead of Helping You

What's Hot

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

Do exercise, but do exercise caution. Here are some common fitness moves that could cause you lots more pain than gain.

Your exercise regimen can actually damage your health.

No, that’s not an excuse to become a couch potato, but it underscores why it’s imperative to understand your family health history, talk to your doctor before taking on new exercise regimens (yes, really) and avoid moves that might not be right for you. That’s true whether you’re just getting into exercise or are an avid athlete.

Details magazine reported how an otherwise healthy 38-year-old man recently broke his thighbone while attempting an advanced yoga pose. True, that’s an extreme case, but it illustrates how even some seemingly benign exercises can cause serious injuries.

“I see plenty of type-A folks who are also so-called ‘weekend warriors’ who want to push, push, push in every pose,” Jessica Stickler, an instructor at Jivamukti NYC, told the magazine. “We have to quiet that urge to squeeze every last drop of sweat.”

Protect your health by avoiding — or at least carefully considering — these exercises:

  • Behind the head pull down: This is the exercise where you pull a weighted exercise bar down behind your back. The problem? Too much stress on the shoulder joints can cause rotator cuff injuries, said Michele Olson, an ACSM fellow and NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist, talking to SparkPeople.
  • Overhead arm exercises with weights: “You should never do ‘arms’ exercises,” Jeremy Frisch, owner and director of Achieve Performance Training in Clinton, Massachusetts, told Shape magazine. Such exercises can damage your elbows and shoulders. Besides the injury risk, the exercise isn’t even effective at toning your arms. “You’ll hit those muscles so much harder doing complex exercises anyway,” he said.
  • Crunches: When you do crunches, you push vertebral discs back toward your spinal cord. That may lead to a herniated disc in the lower back, according to Medical Daily. Planks work your abs without putting you at risk, notes SteadyHealth.
  • Inversion during yoga: There are countless articles in the New York Times and elsewhere warning against the dangers of inversion during yoga that can cause everything from “floaters” in your eyes to strokes. The risk comes from bending down for an extended period of time and is especially risky for those with high blood pressure.
  • Leg extensions with weights: The exercises that have you sit while lifting your weighted legs can wreak havoc on your knees. The leg extension machine ties an unnatural movement with a dangerous weight placement, said Aaron Brooks, a biomechanics expert and owner of Perfect Postures in Auburndale, Massachusetts, speaking with Shape magazine. “Because the load is on one end [instead of centered], there’s tremendous strain on the knee,” he said. “And most times, people aren’t sitting in the chair properly. They’re trying to generate more force by moving their pelvis.”

What’s your exercise regimen? Have you been injured by pushing too hard or plunging into new activities? Share with us in comments or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 12 Ways to Squeeze the Most Memories From Every Travel Buck

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,864 more deals!