Dangerous Workouts: Avoid These 5 Exercises at All Costs

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Strength training should be a key part of your weekly exercise routine. Not only will you build your muscles, you’ll set your body up for more efficient fat burning. However, it is critical to observe safety protocols when working out as injuries can derail your efforts for weeks or months. Common mistakes made by folks during weight training are adopting an all-or-nothing approach, undertaking unbalanced training programs, not incorporating enough variety, neglecting to adjust machines to individual body size, using bad form, and not setting realistic goals.

But it’s not just about how you perform the moves – the moves themselves may be doing you more harm than good. We’re about to let you in on five strength training moves you shouldn’t even attempt because the risk of injury is too high for the potential gain. But don’t worry; we’ve also got alternatives that will do much better for you.

1. Crunches

This old standard is not good for much, despite its popularity with those seeking six-pack abs. In reality, basic crunches don’t engage your core enough to help. Straining to accomplish the move instead puts pressure on your neck and back. Rounding your lower back in order to bend at the waist also pushes discs back toward your spinal cord, which can result in a herniated disc. It’s nearly impossible to maintain proper form during crunches unless you already have super strong abdominal muscles.

Instead, try other effective abdominal exercises that carry a much lower risk of injury and actually target the 20+ muscles that make up your core. These include planks, bicycle kicks, and alternating heel touches. Include them in your strength training workout to achieve true core strength, which gives you more than just a pretty washboard effect.