The 15 Exercises to Never Do at the Gym

Starting a fitness journey is admirable but not all exercises are beneficial. Some can cause injury or are simply ineffective. This text reveals 15 exercises to avoid for safer, better workouts.

Behind-The-Neck Lat Pulldown

The behind-the-neck lat pulldown targets back muscles but strains the shoulders and neck. A safer option is the front lat pulldown, reducing risk of injuries.

Upright Rows

Upright rows target shoulders but can cause impingement. Lateral raises, lifting arms in line with shoulders, are a safer option and target the same muscles.

Seated Leg Extensions

Leg extensions target quads but stress knees, risking injury. Swap machine for lunges or squats for safer, functional quad work.

Knee Push-Ups

Knee push-ups can strain knees and lower back due to improper form. Try modified push-ups against a wall or use an incline bench for gradual strength and stability.

Behind-The-Head Shoulder Press

The behind-the-head shoulder press can strain the shoulders and neck. Consider a front shoulder press for a safer range of motion, targeting the same muscles.

Behind-The-Back Shoulder Shrug

The behind-the-neck shoulder press and shrug can strain your shoulders and neck. Do a front or lateral shoulder shrug instead to prevent injury.

Machine Shoulder Press (With Resting Head)

Using machines for exercises like shoulder presses can be risky, leading to incorrect form and possible neck injuries. Using free weights with correct posture is a safer alternative.

Seated Twists With a Weight Plate

Seated twists can strain the spine causing back pain. Opt for standing/lying side bends with lighter weights for a safer workout targeting obliques.

Smith Machine Squats

The Smith machine restricts movement and stresses joints during squats. Consider more natural options like a squat rack or goblet squats for leg workouts.

Straight-Leg Deadlifts With Bad Form

Straight-leg deadlifts target hamstrings & glutes. Poor form can risk back injury. A neutral spine and engaged core are crucial. Try Romanian deadlifts or glute bridges for form help.

Behind-The-Neck Tricep Extensions

Behind-the-neck tricep extensions may strain shoulders and neck. Skull crushers is a safer option, keeping weight behind head and elbows aligned with shoulders.


Sit-ups can strain the neck and spine if not done right. Try plank variations like side planks or mountain climbers for a safer core workout.

Leg Press With Knees Bent Too Far

The leg press targets quads and glutes. Bending knees too far can strain the knee joint. Maintain a 90-degree angle at your knees or opt for squats for the same muscle focus.

Seated Calf Raises

Seated calf raises may stress the Achilles tendon. A safer alternative, standing calf raises, require lifting your heels off a flat surface.

Heavy Overhead Tricep Extensions

Tricep extensions target triceps. However, heavy weights can strain shoulders and elbows. Start light, and increase gradually for strength and stability. Try tricep dips or kickbacks as safer alternatives.

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