A day spent at the gym is a day well spent. Just think about the health benefits it provides to your body – increased energy, improved mood, more confidence and drive to make healthier choices!  

 However, the wrong routine, machine, or move performed at the gym can leave your body out of commission. Here are three exercises that you should be extra careful with, or avoid: 

Glute Machine 

This selectorized machine is designed to work the gluteus maximus, but the quadriceps get a workout from this it too. The problem here lies in the knee flexion. The knee starts in a position that is past the standard/recommended 90 degrees. This can put a lot of unnecessary strain on the knee and cause discomfort or injury over time. However, this machine can work wonders, as long as you make sure your knee is not going past a 90-degree angle when returning to starting position. Those with knee troubles should probably avoid this machine.  

Try Instead: Sumo squats (with or without weight), hip thrusters (with or without barbell), or the cable kickback – just to name a few.  

Reverse Lat Pulldown 

A behind-the-neck lat pulldown places the shoulder joint in a position of horizontal abduction, while combined with external rotation. When this exercise is performed excess stress is placed on the rotator cuff, causing the muscles to work harder in order to stabilize the joint. This makes them susceptible to pain or injury.  

Try Instead: Regular lat pulldown, overhead cable extensions, overhead triceps extension, or seated cable rows.  

Straight Leg Deadlifts 

Remember the old adage, “bend with your knees”? Well, there is a reason that has become general knowledge. Putting such a heavy strain on your back can cause you to pull it, not to mention the potential damage you can do to your knees if you aren’t using correct form. The best advice is to steer clear of this exercise unless you’ve been taught proper form/technique by a certified professional.  

Try Instead: Step-ups, squats (weighted or non-weighted), or kettlebell swings.  

A Word for the Wise 

The best way to avoid the wrong machines for you and learn proper exercising techniques, schedule some one-on-one time with a certified personal trainer. They can help you better understand what routines you should be doing, and which muscles to target, to help you reach your personal health and fitness goals. Schedule a complimentary fitness assessment today!