You workout for your health and to keep your body in tiptop shape. Did you know there are certain exercises that can do more harm than good? A particular stretch or exercise might look like a great idea, but in reality might not be of benefit, or could actually harm you. They are called contraindicated exercises because are just riskier than others.
There are a number of exercises that are inappropriate for most people. Most can be modified to be safer by using proper alignment, having a strong core, maintaining focus and control of the movements, and never allowing your joints to lock.
Pain should always be your guide. But in some cases you won’t feel it until it’s too late. So, use common sense. If it doesn’t feel right, if your joints aren’t tracking well or you feel discomfort, don’t do it.
Here are 5 exercises NOT recommended by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, for general or recreational fitness:
1. Bouncy (ballistic) toe touches. Area of risk: back, hamstrings and calves
2. Rapid or full circle head circles. Area of risk: cervical spine
3. Hurdler’s stretch. Area of risk: medial knee ligament
4. Windmills. A rapid side-to-side movement that combines spinal flexion and rotation. Area of risk: spine and knees
5. Plyometrics or jumping on concrete or other hard surfaces. Area of risk: joint and spinal compression