Engaging in various forms of exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but many seemingly workouts can pose unexpected dangers if not performed with proper technique and caution.
Deadlifts can be dangerous for a couple of reasons. The first reason is the sheer amount of weight. With proper form, a strong person can deadlift way over their own weight and this causes concern on its own if the weight is dropped incorrectly.
Second is what we alluded to there, proper form. While there are other parts to the technique, keeping a straight back is an absolute must. If you don’t, then all that weight is being put on your back which can lead to a serious injury.
As with most of these exercises, they are quite safe when done correctly. Squats are all about getting the correct alignment between your toes and your knees, and as with the deadlifts, your back needs to stay straight too.
Without the proper form, you can easily have knee, hip and lower back injuries. This is especially important if you’re adding weight to your squats as this adds an extra level of danger and increases the importance of having correct form.
We’re not talking about using a machine here, we’re talking about road cycling. In terms of potential consequences, it is perhaps the most dangerous form of exercise as you often need to navigate between cars and pedestrians.
It’s important to choose your routes wisely and make yourself as visible as possible with bright clothing, reflectors, and lights. You also need to appreciate the sad reality that there are a lot of inconsiderate drivers out there!
The bench press is a notoriously dangerous exercise to do as you’ll be lifting weight directly above your head. If you drop this weight or it becomes too heavy for you, then you risk it dropping on your face or it getting trapped on your neck.
It’s important not to overestimate your ability and also use a spotter. A spotter is another person who can step in and take the weight if you’re struggling. Another idea is to use a smith machine which is going to be much safer.
Leg Press Machine
As with the deadlift, with the leg press machine you’re usually dealing with a huge amount of weight. Due to this, you want to be sensible and know when to call it quits. If you lose control, the weight may press your legs into your chest and hyperextend your knee.
You need to be careful the other way too. On the push-up, ensure that you’re not locking out your knees and making your leg completely straight. On the push up you should have a slight bend in your key and on the way down you shouldn’t go beyond 90 degrees.
It’s easy to imagine why box jumps would be dangerous! Here you’re trying to jump as high as you can on loose boxes. If you make it, then it looks great. If you don’t make it, then you can be in a whole world of problems.
With box jumps you need to have awareness of not making the jump and being able to back out of it. If you fall off the boxes then you risk a whole host of body injuries whether this is to your ankles, spine, wrists or anywhere else on your body.
This is a similar theme as with cycling above. Road running can be dangerous and you constantly need to be looking for danger. This is especially true if you’re running through a built-up area. Also be mindful of any hazards on the floor such as wet or icy ground.
While road running can be dangerous, you can’t be complacent on a treadmill either. Build up your speed and don’t go beyond your limits. If you do, then you risk muscle strains or slipping off the treadmill.
High-intensity interval training is where you mix in periods of intense exercise with periods of rest. While it can be great for improving your fitness, it’s not without its issues.
The problem can come from when you’ve never tried HIIT before. It can be a shock to the system and cause cardiovascular stress as well as increase your risk of muscle strains. If you’re new to exercise, you should gradually work your way into high-intensity exercise.
We’re talking about kettlebell swings here but this could apply to any free weight. With kettlebell swings, you want to be mindful of the momentum.
For example, if you’re swinging a kettlebell over your head and lose control then you can overextend your shoulder and do some damage. Be careful not to use a weight you struggle with and if you’re new to kettlebell swings, practice proper form with lower weights first.
Lat Pull Downs
Our final dangerous exercise is lat pull-downs. While we’re saying lat pull down, this applies to any exercise that requires a lot of shoulder work. It can put a lot of stress on your shoulder which can lead to various issues, such as shoulder impingement.
The key here is to not go beyond your flexibility limits. If you feel a lot of pressure during your pull-down, don’t try and push past it. As with many other exercises, this is your body telling you that your body is not yet ready for this exercise.
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