Exercises That Cause Injury

If you’re exercising regularly, good for you! And if you’re doing strength training exercise, even better. But some exercises will cause injury, so to avoid workout injuries, make the following modifications to your workout routine.

Exercises That Cause Injury — And How To Fix Them!

Tricep Bench Dips

Your triceps are the muscles on the back of your upper arms, and their job is to straighten your elbows. A common exercise for toning these muscles is the bench dip (see photo below), but this movement puts the shoulders under a lot of harmful stress. Any time you do an upper-body exercise that dumps your shoulder blades forwards and forces the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) forwards, it puts dangerous stress on the rotator cuff and bicep tendon.

Exercises that cause injury - bench dips!

There are many better ways to work your triceps, including tricep pushdowns and lying tricep extensions:

tricep ropetricep dumbbell skulls


Yoga Cobra

Stretching your spine backwards is, in general, a good thing to do, and it feels great! The problem with the typical yoga cobra stretch is the range of motion. Bending back farther than you should pinches your lower back’s discs and facet joints, and can really exacerbate lurking disc problems.


incorrect yoga cobra
Incorrect pose – too much bending of the lower spine

A better way to do this pose is to make sure that you have proportional movement of all segments of the spine. This means that once your upper back isn’t bending back any further, don’t push up any more! Keep your neck in line with the rest of your spine, and don’t squash the lower back after the rest of the spine has reached the end of its comfortable range of motion.


Correct cobra pose – less stress on the spine

Upright Rows

A great way to destroy your rotator cuff is to repeatedly pull your arms out away from you while they are internally rotated. This is exactly what an upright row forces you to do. Take upright rows out of your routine right now! This is definitely one of the exercises that cause injury.


exercises that cause injury - upright rows


Better exercises for your shoulders are 1) the overhead press and 2) a properly executed lateral raise (this means arms about 30º in front of you, with a slight external rotation).

Shoulder exercise that doesn't cause injury







Exercise and nutrition expert Dan DeFigioIf you’re interested in avoiding injuries from exercise, learn more about exercise and nutrition by contacting us for a free consultation.