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The Most Harmful Exercises In The Gym

The Most Harmful Exercises In The Gym

The exercises that can be done in a weight room are so many, as well as the benefits that can be obtained in performing these exercises.

But there are also incorrect exercises that become more harmful due to the presence of an external overload.

Let’s see some of them.


This exercise involves rotations of the trunk with the barbell on the shoulders. Until a few years ago it was one of the main exercises used to tone or slim the muscles of the waistline and the internal and external oblique muscles of the abdomen.

Let’s see what are the main contraindications of this exercise.

  • Barbell loading can be detrimental to the shoulder joint.
  • The twisting movement of the spine causes wears both on the intervertebral discs and on the articular facets.
  • The rotational movement of the spine puts tension on the fibers of the fibrous ring. Such fibers assume a direction with an obliquity opposite to the direction of rotation. The core is subjected to high pressure and this voltage increases proportionally with the degree of rotation.
  • In people with disc protrusion, it can cause herniation or lower back pain.

My advice is to eliminate this exercise due to the different contraindications and find a valid alternative to performing the same muscular work without “mistreating” our spine as it represents a precious and irreplaceable asset.

Lat Machine Behind

Another exercise that is often seen in the weight room. This exercise is used to work the back muscles of our body. In recent years this exercise, with the bar carried behind the head, is no longer practiced with the same intensity as a few years ago.

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Let’s see what are the main contraindications of this exercise.

  • It represents an unnatural movement for our body, there is no discipline or physical activity that simulates such a movement;
  • The rear-wheel-drive movement finds no resemblance to any action in everyday life;
  • It causes a continuous abduction and extra-rotation that involves an anterior displacement of the head of the humerus: considering that this position is maintained both during the concentric and the eccentric phase, one can imagine the stress in the form of mechanical-traumatic wear that the rotator cuff will have to endure ;
  • This traction causes lesions on the spinous processes of the cervical tract.

So, my advice is to eliminate this exercise to train the lats and find a valid alternative to obtain optimal muscle work and not have osteoarticular problems.

Slow Behind With Barbell

Until recently it was one of the most used exercises in the hall lost to train the shoulders. As we have seen for the other exercises, even the slow one with the barbell behind it has several contraindications. The main ones are:

  • Biomechanically unfavorable work represents numerous risk reasons as the organism instinctively predisposes itself to contraindicated postures and anti-physiological movements in order to bear the motor pattern imposed on it ;
  • The head tilts forward putting the spinous processes of the cervical vertebrae at risk and causing contractures in the neck muscles;
  • The natural curves of the spine are modified especially at the level of the lumbar tract which carries out dangerous hyperlordotic actions ;
  • These forces can cause the so-called ” functional overload pathologies “, in which a repeated micro traumatic action occurs which very frequently leads to acute and chronic inflammatory processes: in practice, continuous wear and tear are produced, a mechano-traumatic action above all in areas of muscle-tendon insertions.
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As we have seen, there are many contraindications to this exercise, and therefore avoid doing it for shoulder training.

These are some of the main harmful exercises that are done inside a weight room.

My advice is to rely on qualified personnel who are able to choose the most suitable exercise for your training.

To all these exercises there are valid alternatives to train the affected muscles, thus increasing the quality of muscle work and minimizing the risk of damaging the various osteoarticular structures.

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