15 Exercises that Doctors Would Never Do

Just because some exercises and machines are popular doesn't mean they are good for you

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A gym enthusiast’s life can be mentally, as well as physically, exhausting. The options of exercises targeting the body’s muscles are endless, but the “blacklist” of movements you should never attempt is much shorter.

Having too many choices can lead to a state of intimidation when you find yourself at the fitness center wondering what to do next. You end up copying the first fit person you see, who looks like he or she knows a thing or two working out. This is your first mistake.

“[Gymgoers] need to understand what their bodies are not ready for,” says Dr. Daniel Geller, a foot and ankle surgeon. This is especially true for older adults, who may have high blood pressure or another cardio issue. For them, a full medical clearance is recommended before hitting the gym. “From a mechanical standpoint, it’s also useful to get an overall assessment of your flexibility and muscle range motion.”[slideshow:82347]

“People should get a movement assessment first,” according to Chris Leib, a doctor of physical therapy at Movement Professional.

Certain exercises, even easy ones performed every day, can help you stay unbelievably fit for life. It’s important to know which they are, but it’s equally crucial to be familiar with the varieties you should never do. Some types of crunches, for example, can be useless, according to Leib. “Anything you try to get stronger while sitting is,” he adds. “You are in a position you’ve already been all day and that’s not helping.”

The second and most common mistake people make is not changing their exercise routine. “It should be about changing positions frequently,” Leib says. People get comfortable with certain movements but the body adapts and “too much of the same thing ends up being too little of a workout.” It becomes less effective from a muscle strength point of view.

Any kind of exercise can cause an injury if your body is not ready for it. Even squats – every professional trainer’s favorite – can hurt you if you don’t prepare your body. “You should always get flexible in the hamstrings,” Dr. Julie Barnett, physical therapist, who plays tennis and golf, bikes, skis and hikes, says. She is also an assistant professor of physical therapy at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “You need flexibility in your shoulders, legs and torso before you go to the gym.”

Here are some of the workouts these doctors would not recommend.

Click here to see the Exercises that Doctors Would Never Do

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