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8 Exercises that are potentially harmful

Sure exercises have a profound effect on health and fitness, but there can be repercussions if the doer is not cautious. This is why it is important to choose exercises that will help you and avoid the ones that will not.

Exercise & Fitness By Himanshu Sharma / Jul 06, 2015

Bench dips

Bench dips can turn harmful. The movements in this exercise increase likelihood of shoulder injury. Besides exacerbating shoulder pain, you might be doing damage to rotator cuff muscles and bursae without realising.

Upright rows

Upright rows require you to hold a barbell in the centre and bring your hands up under your chin. The exercise carries a risk of compressing nerves in the shoulder area and damaging cartilage in the AC (acromion process) joint. It can sometimes, lead to arthritis.


Side-to-side movements require the perfect form and attention or they can harm your neck and spine. The movement seldom makes any difference to your waistline and it is not worth the risk if all you are looking at is flexibility.

Behind-the-neck press

This exercise puts shoulders in a vulnerable position and can strain the rotator cuff muscles. To avoid shoulder trouble, steer clear of this exercise.


Sit-ups should be avoided for a pain-free back. The mechanism of this exercise can strain  lower back area. Besides, it is not one of the most effective abdominal exercises. You will be better off with crunches and other exercises that target the abs without throwing excessive tension on the lower back.

Lat pull-down

Many pull the bar behind their heads when doing a lat pull-down without realising that it is the wrong form. When you do so, you endure an un-stabilizing effect on the shoulder and neck. If you are not sure of the perfect form to do this exercise, avoid doing it.

Side bends

Side bends offer benefits for power lifters or those preparing for bodybuilding contests. If you are not any of the two, stay away from this exercise as it can put your spine at a serious risk for injury.

Leg lifts

Leg lifts require you to extend your legs straight off the ground. The movement engages your abdominals, but also stresses the lower back. In the process you can end up picking an injury. To work the same muscle groups, there are other better and safer exercises.



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