Harmful Exercises at The Gym You Should Stop Doing

There are some exercises at the gym that may leave you prone to injuries and can cause damage to the body.
Harmful Exercises at The Gym You Should Stop Doing

Last update: 14 January, 2019

Throughout our day, we trust our bodies to make different movements, most of which are harmless, and others that we must be careful with. This is true when we exercise as well. And so, it’s important to learn all about potentially harmful exercises at the gym.

Before going into the exercises, let’s be clear about what an injury is. In short, it’s damage to the body caused by a wound, hit or an illness. At the gym, we are vulnerable to injuries, and the exercises we do there could be working against us.

Harmful exercises at the gym

We must be extremely aware of any harmful exercises and how they impact our bodies. Among the most common causes of injury while exercising is not warming up, performing the wrong technique and dehydration. Not to mention the exercises themselves that can cause injuries.

Thus, beware of the following exercises. Make sure you either perform them correctly or otherwise avoid them completely.

Leg press

In this exercise, you work with a machine that is fairly common in all gyms. Coincidently, this machine is also among the machines that are most often used incorrectly.

This machine works the quadriceps while you are pushing a specific weight away from you. The risk of injury here comes with overstretching the knee joint.

Leg press is among the most dangerous machines in the gym

The knee is one of the most common places where people experience injuries, making it one of the most delicate parts of the body. Thus, we must avoid any type of exercise that puts excessive pressure on these joints. Make sure that you are using the leg press machine correctly.

Lat pulldowns

This machine aided exercise is said to focus on the chest and back. Since this exercise consists of pulling a bar behind the next, it is bound to affect the neck and shoulders too.

The biggest mistake in this exercise is to bend the neck and back. While performing this exercise you must maintain the correct posture. Otherwise, this powerful exercise becomes one of the most harmful exercises.

Bench press

The bench press is one of the most common exercises at the gym. However, it is also one of the most dangerous when performed incorrectly. It’s important to consider that not everyone can do this exercise. You must have previous training that allows you to have enough strength and resistance.

Another important aspect of this potentially harmful exercise is that it can encourage an injury quite quickly. Some of the most common bench press mistakes are:

  • Gripping the bar incorrectly
  • Opening the elbows when flexing
  • Closing the chest or overbending the wrists


This type of exercise is particularly beneficial for the glutes, lower back, calves, among others. It gives great results and thus it’s a common one in most gym routines. However, if performed incorrectly, it becomes one of the most harmful exercises, and you need to take care.

Dead lifts are beneficial for many parts of the body if performed correctly.

It has a high risk of injury to a vital part of the body, the spine. Deadlifts can cause the wrongful use of the lumbar area, and this is quite dangerous. It’s imperative to take good care of your spine, a healthy spine equals a healthy life.

What should I do?

In order to avoid injuries, make sure you focus on the correct technique of the exercises. A key aspect of exercise is to maintain a straight back at all times.

Be especially careful with certain potentially harmful exercises at the gym. If you become injured, you are risking other aspects of your life, including work. And so, look to perform these exercises correctly or look for alternative and safer was to work out those same muscle groups.

It’s up to you to maintain healthy muscles, joints, and ligaments. Thus, pay close attention to your technique, the exercises you perform, and your nutrition. If your body is weak, your risk of becoming injured is higher.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ronai, Peter. “The Lat Pulldown.” ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal 23.2 (2019): 24-30.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.