Some Guidelines for Avoiding Hazardous Exercises

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Some Guidelines for Avoiding Hazardous Exercises

How to Avoid Potentially Hazardous Exercises

The human body is made to move. Nevertheless, there are certain movements that put the joints and musculoskeletal system at risk and should, therefore, be avoided. Most of the contraindicated exercises involve positions at the extreme range of motion. For example, Hyperflex or hyperextension of the neck.

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In baseball, the catcher has to assume and maintain a deep squat position for long periods of time. This causes microtrauma to the knee. Gymnasts frequently perform double–leg raises and movements that result in hyperextension of the back. These movements cause microtrauma to the spine. Some workers (e.g., postal workers and construction workers) may also perform movements that produce microtrauma, even when adhering to guidelines for efficient and safe exercise. It is especially important that these people develop muscle fitness and flexibility in the region of the body that is exposed to the dangerous movements. Base–ball catchers should be sure to strengthen the muscles around the knee and stretch the hamstring and quadriceps muscles. Gymnasts should exercise to build strong abdominal and back muscles as well as the stretch to lengthen the back, hamstring, and hip flexor muscles. Workers should similarly strengthen and lengthen the muscles associated with movements commonly used in their jobs.

The practice of some athletes of using the passive assistance of a partner can cause excessive stretch. Examples of such exercises are by pulling the arms backward at shoulder level until they cross each other behind the back or pulling the bent elbows together making them touch while the hands are at the back of the head. Competitive swimmers sometimes begin such practices while they are in children’s swimming programs and continue them through their competitive years. Such overstretching has resulted in painful shoulders and disability.

Tiptoeing exercises will develop the clef muscles, but at the same time, they help to support the long arch of the foot. Heel walking may also have the same effect that it may develop strong shin muscles while further weakening the arch. The potential harm is lessened if these exercises are performed with the toes turned in slightly.


Jogging and aerobic dance exercises are excellent for cardiovascular conditioning, weight control and improvement of a variety of conditions. But a reasonable caution should be observed while jogging and aerobic dance exercises. Jogging has been used successfully in rehabilitating cardiac patients and variety of other health problems. Like many other exercises, jogging should not be done without a physiotherapist’s approval for people with arthritis, osteoporosis, and heart and circulatory diseases. The pounding from repeated stride can lead to shin splints, blisters, and a variety of foot, ankle, knee, and hip problems. Wearing the proper footwear and learning how to jog correctly will minimize these hazards. If you have any poor leg or foot alignment, it is advisable to jog only three or four days per week as studies show that the risk of injury is greatest for those who jog every day. Or you should choose any other activities such as cycling or swimming. The same fitness levels will result with less risk of injury. Aerobic dance exercises have some of the same hazards as jogging but these include the overstress syndromes from too many hours of high–impact landing on the floor. The most common problems are shin splints, Achilles tendon injuries, arch strains and pain under the knee cap. Many of these problems can be prevented by warming up and stretching properly before exercising, by using low- impact movements, and by avoiding hazardous exercises such as those described in this concept. Loud music can cause hearing loss, and high-impact landings may cause inner ear damage. Some women may need to wear a special bra as a comfort measure for either jogging or dance exercise.

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