First of all, let me just start out by saying that any exercise can be bad for you if done improperly. For example, Deadlifts are a great exercise, but not if you’re pulling with a rounded back. Squats are also great, but loading up five plates on each side and squatting down for a few measly quarter-reps is just asking for a knee injury. That being said, let’s go over some exercises that you should probably avoid if you want to stay safe and injury-free.
Upright rows internally rotate your shoulder(which puts the shoulder joint in a compromised position) while also taking on a load. They increase the risk of shoulder impingement, and can cause major shoulder strain due to the fact that the humerus is banging up against the acromion process. If you want arthritis, go ahead and do this exercise
This is a very popular and common exercise that people do to trigger the quadriceps, but this exercise poses major risks to the knee when the weight is too heavy and the knee is fully extended. Straightening the knee with this type of resistance puts a shear amount of stress on the knee joint. It’s probably best to just avoid this exercise. Squat instead!
Behind The Head Lat Pull-downs
Every time I go to the gym and see people doing this exercise, I cringe. The reason? Pulling the bar behind the neck puts far too much stress on the shoulder joint. To do this exercise, you have to externally rotate your shoulder as much as possible, which puts your shoulders in a very delicate position. Keep your shoulders safe and avoid this exercise.
Exercise Ball Squats
I honestly have no idea how people even do this. Getting up on an exercise ball…. With a barbell…. While balancing and squatting down. If you fall, it’s not going to be pretty, especially if you’re using heavy weights. Please, if you want to develop your legs, stick with the traditional barbell squat and focus on getting stronger.
Bonus: Exercises that simply suck
1. Anything on the Smith machine: It’s been proven time and time again that the smith machine produces less gains than free weights. It also removes the stabilizer muscles out of the lift, and is done with an unnatural range of motion. Stick with free weights and stay off the smith machine.
2. Anything done with the Bosu ball: Trainers use these everywhere to “trick” their clients into thinking that they actually know what they’re doing. Performing exercises on unstable surfaces just makes them less effective, and that’s pretty much it.
3. Partial Squat: Do you even range of motion? Those who do partial squats usually are the ones always complaining about knee pain. Squatting properly and to depth actually strengthens the knees, and your legs will also grow much quicker if you squat correctly.
4. Weighted side bend: I think the reason people do this exercise is to get rid of their love handles. Ironically, it actually makes the obliques bigger, making them look fatter. Unfortunately, you cannot spot reduce fat, that’s just the way it is.
5. Triceps kickback: Problem with this exercise is simple: it’s just too easy and it’s difficult to overload the triceps with such little weight. Even if you do try to go heavier, it’s difficult to maintain proper form.
Avoid these exercises, make some gains, and stay injury free. Remember, it’s best to stick with the compound movements(squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press) and focus on progression. You can still get injured doing pretty much any exercise, but some are best just to avoid altogether.