Did you know that there are exercises you should never do? There are plenty of reasons why people need exercise. Exercise can help you feel happier, more energized and can help you lose weight. It can even help boost your immune system to keep you from getting sick! The list of benefits is endless. However, there are a few common exercises you should completely avoid. These exercises can be the cause of injury of which can prevent you from exercising, and may need the attention of a medical professional. Here are 5 exercises you should never do!


  1. Sit-ups.


While sit-ups maybe a good way to work out your abs, they are terrible for your lower back. This is because they put a lot of stress on the disks. The disk is what separates the vertebrae in your spine. Its job is to act as a cushion between the vertebrae so that they don’t rub against each other. Sit-ups strengthen your hip flexors which is the muscle group that runs from the thighs to the lower back. When your hip flexors become too strong, they can pull down on your spine and cause lower back pain. If you want to avoid back pain, stop doing sit-ups! Instead of sit-ups, try adding a plank into your routine.  


  1. Side Bends


Side bends are a popular exercise for the oblique muscle amongst folks who think they can spot-reduce their belly fat. This is simply not true. You can not target one specific area and expect all the fat in that area to disappear. The best way to lose fat is by maintaining a balanced diet and following a complete work out program. Side bends, in particular, are not good for you because it is an awkward movement for your spine. You would rarely ever tilt your upper body to the side in real life like you would during a side bend. Doing this motion over and over again can cause an injury in your back. To still work your oblique muscles without risk of injury, try doing a side plank. 


  1. Supermans


Supermans are an exercise where you lay down on the ground and you lift your arms and legs off the ground, like Superman flying through the air. People who suffer from lower back pain often use this exercise as a way to relieve the pain and to help strengthen their back. This does the exact opposite. The design of your back is meant to keep you standing upright. This exercise puts excessive amounts of compression on the back. To effectively strengthen your back, focus on strengthening your core muscles as a whole. 


  1. Bench Dips


Many people who want to keep their arms from looking flabby strive to work out their triceps. Bench dips are a common exercise which men and women both do to work the tricep muscle group. The problem with this exercise is the strain it puts on your shoulders. As your body descends during the dip, your shoulders are thrust forward, which compresses the shoulder joints. Doing this exercise and those similar to it can lead to shoulder impingement. Impingement of the shoulder causes pain. Physical therapy is often prescribed to heal an impingement. In some cases, surgery may be required. To replace Supermans, try adding Bird-dogs into your routine. 


  1. Russian Twists


The Russian twist is another exercise that focuses on the oblique muscles. This exercise damages the disks in your spine. During a Russian twist, your back is not supported in any way. This causes it to be in full flexion where the spine is rounded. This puts a lot of compression on your spine, and it’s like you are in a perpetual sit-up for the duration of the exercise. Doing this exercise over and over again can put you at risk of a herniated disk. The makeup of a disk is mostly fluid.  When abused by doing exercises such as the Russian twist, the disk will tear, and leak fluid on to the nerves in the spine. This, in turn, causes severe back pain. Recovery can take up to a year and often requires surgery to fix. Better to be safe than sorry. Skip this exercise to keep your back in peak condition!


These are 5 exercises you should never do. While working out, you should always strive to support your back and shoulders to prevent future injury. Sit-ups, side bends, supermans, bench dips, and Russian twists should be thrown out of your routine. There are many other options to work out these muscle groups. Be sure to check with your doctor what exercises will be best for you to help keep your body in balance.