9 Exercises You Think Are Safe, But Are Actually Doing Some Major Damage

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Like everything else, the understanding of exercise is growing and changing every day. On the plus side, this mean your workouts can keep becoming more efficient over time. On the other hand, there are some fitness habits you may need to reconsider in light of new information. With this in mind, it's smart to know about the exercises you think are safe but aren't, as well as ways to improve your fitness regime. After all, preventing injury is in the forefront of most every active person's mind.

This isn't to say that all of these exercises are bad or need to be dropped entirely. Some are perfectly fine, as long as they are performed correctly. In general though, some of the exercises may waste your time or even set up bad habits that can lead to injury down the road. That's no good. The whole point of fitness is to feel better, right?

So to make sure your workout is both effective and safe, review these exercises and their safety risks. Some may need to be dropped from your workouts entirely, whereas others may only require a little refinement. Because nothing gets in the way of your routine quite like a workout injury, review these techniques and stay safe.

1Back Extensions

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Having a strong spine is a great for your posture, but getting that buff backbone comes with some risks. For instance, back extension exercises may strain the lower back, as noted by The Nest. Work with a trainer or other fitness professional to make sure your movements are smooth and slow.

2Crunches

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Sit-ups and crunches have fallen out of favor with some members of the fitness community. In fact, repeatedly doing crunches may even put strain on your lower back, according to HuffPo. There are many other abdominal workouts, such as planks, that don't present the same strain.

3Curls With Light Weights

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Granted, you're unlikely to cause serious injuries with light weights. But in this scenario, habits matter. According to the website for Prevention, using light weights gets you in the bad habit of doing a lot of reps. When you do graduate to heavier weights, this habit can lead to injury.

4Deadlifts

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Deadlifts can be a fantastic exercise, but only when done correctly. Poor form can be disastrous for your back. Work with a trainer or other professional to make sure your form is in top shape.

5Double Leg Raises

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This is another ab workout you may want to retire. According to Fitness, leg raises can put severe strain on your back. Basically, the main caveat for many exercises is: don't hurt your back.

6Pull-Ups

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Pull-ups are another exercise that requires the right form. Shoulders and elbows can take on a lot of strain during pull-ups, as noted by the Exercise Review Site. Again, listening to your body and maintaining good form can help prevent problems.

7Seated Hip Abductor Machine

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Even the machine that reminds you of the gyno's office has some risk. In fact, the hip abductor may strain your spine or even pull a knee cap out of place, according to HuffPo. Yikes. You may want to find a replacement move.

8Side Bends

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Sure, doing side bends with weights may look cool. But as noted by Early To Rise, repeatedly bending your spine sideways may result in its own set of problems. Keeping the spine safe at all costs appears to be the lesson of the day.

9Tricep Dips

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Who knew basic exercises could get so controversial? But according to the American Council on Exercise, dips may put a lot of strain on the shoulders. Although these exercises might work well for some people, they could present injury risks to others.