10 Most Dangerous Exercises at the Gym

Incorrect technique of these exercises will result in injuries. Don’t be risky. There are exercises, that load muscles too much. If you do them incorrectly, at best you will waste time, and at worst — leave the gym crippled. Therefore, such exercises should be avoided, or you can do them carefully following the technique. Most dangerous exercises are free weight exercises.

1. Behind The Neck Press

Behind-the-head barbell press is an exercise for training shoulders. At the lower point, our elbows are in an unnatural position and are overloaded. And if we work with too heavy weight, the muscles are easily injured. This exercise is dangerous for the shoulder joints.

2. French Bench Press

French bench press is a very popular exercise amongst gym-goers and is good for working out triceps. But it is dangerous, and often leads to inflammation in the elbow joints. In this exercise, you do not need large weights. It is better to do it with less weight, but with correct technique.

3. Barbell Back Squat

Squats is powerful exercise for building leg muscles. It helps gain muscle mass and develops quadriceps. But many athletes ignore it for the fear of getting injured. Squats primarily require the correct technique, otherwise there is a risk of injuring your back or knees.

4. Barbell Good Morning

Good morning strengthens the lower back, works the buttocks and hamstring. But now this exercise is not popular because of the risk of injury. It is dangerous in terms of axial load. If done incorrectly, the lumbar spine may suffer. If you have back pain, this exercise should be avoided.

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5. Leg Press

This exercise works the leg muscles. It loads hips, quadriceps and buttocks. But if you do it incorrectly, there is a risk of injuring your knees or lower back. Try to press the pelvis firmly against the leg press machine and not lower the platform too low to maintain correct technique.

6. Deadlift

Perhaps deadlift is the most effective back exercise. But at the same time one of the most dangerous and hard.

Its benefit is that it contributes to the rapid muscle gain. In the deadlift a barbell is used, so you should do the exercise carefully. Not warming up, incorrect technique and sudden movements during exercise can lead to a lower back injury. Often the cause of pain is rounding of the back during deadlift. Another cause of lumbar injuries may be incorrect grip. It is better to use overhand or mixed grip.

7. Lat Pulldown Behind Neck

This exercise is designed to work out the latissimus dorsi. The risk of injury in this exercise, unfortunately, is high, because the incorrect position of the shoulders creates a harmful load. But if you do the exercise with correct technique, the injuries can be avoided. It is necessary to observe several rules: do not lower the handle too low, and also the grip shouldn’t be too wide.

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8. Upright Barbell Row

Upright barbell row is an excellent basic shoulder exercise to build muscles and improve their shape. But it can also cause the injuries of the shoulder girdle due to the pressure of the scapula on the capsule of the shoulder joint when lifting the arm up. There are two ways to avoid the injury:

It is necessary to warm the muscles of the shoulder well. It will also improve the results in all press exercises.

Do not use heavy weights with a close grip. To build delts, you can do 12-15 repetitions, and it will give the result.

9. Leg Extension

This is an isolation exercise aimed at building leg muscles. It mostly loads quads. But you need to understand that leg extension is extremely traumatic for your knees. The cruciate ligaments are especially at risk.

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Only the correct technique will help avoid injuries. It is necessary to set the correct weight to cope with the load without jerking movements. And it is important to remember that knees should form an angle no less than 90°. Otherwise, the load on the joints increase.

10. Decline Barbell Bench Press

The last exercise on our list is not so popular. Obvious disadvantage is a high risk of injury. You can drop the bar on your chest or even on your neck. If you are in the gym alone, you need to use light weights. Also, do not swing the barbell during the exercise. The range of motion in decline bench press is shorter, and some athletes feel that they cannot work out their muscles this way. For this and other reasons, many prefer dips to build the lower chest.


Basically, most get injured because of inattention and self-confidence. If you do exercises with correct technique and adequately select the weight, you won’t get injured. And remember that there is always an alternative: classic deadlift can be replaced with a Romanian one. If you decide to do dangerous exercises, it is best to perform them under the supervision of a trainer or an experienced friend. Do not forget to warm up and choose the right weight.


    • Yes, there are some machines that I would recommend to avoid to not to injure your tendons. These are: seated hip abductor, seated shoulder press, seated chest fly

    • Hi! Here is the list of exercises I would recommend to use instead:
      exercises with free weights or medicine balls


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