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8 Exercises to Avoid After 40

A woman doing jumping jacks
A woman doing jumping jacks. (Adam Drobiec/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 October 2019 10:15 AM

Working out comes with numerous health benefits but what you do in the gym may not always be good for your body, especially if you are getting older. Wear and tear is natural but this means that the workouts you did 10 years ago may just put you at risk of picking up an injury. This does not mean giving up your cardio or weight lifting routine, it just means being more mindful of these eight exercises to avoid if you are over 40.

  1. Jumping jacks. There are exceptions to this but if you do not exercise regularly, then jumping jacks are probably a bad idea. Stick to lower-intensity workouts that will strengthen muscles and keep you fit without sending your heart rate soaring, Nikola Djordjevic, MD, a family physician, tells Best Life.
  2. Crunches. Despite popular belief, experts now say that spot training does not work. This means that you cannot lose weight from one specific area of your body with targeted exercises. This matters because many people believe crunches and sit-ups will get rid of belly fat, when instead they could just hurt their back and strain their neck, according to MultiBriefs.
  3. Leg presses. If you tend to work out at the gym, chances are you use the machines — but if you are over 40, leg presses or leg extensions are definitely exercises to avoid. Overloading your legs can put unnecessary strain on your knees and can also hurt your back and even cause herniated discs, CheatSheet reports.
  4. Squats. Like leg presses, squats can also put a strain on the knees and other joints, which can lead to injury, Lina Velikova, MD, PhD, a clinical immunologist, tells Best Life. You can modify the exercise by using a chair to squat back into or leaning on a wall for support.
  5. Triceps dips. If you are not performing this move correctly, you can injure your upper arms and shoulders and even cause damage to your rotator cuffs, MultiBriefs notes. If you are not sure how to execute the perfect triceps dip, don't do it or find a modification that won't strain your body.
  6. Deadlifts. The deadlift is known to strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and upper back, but if you are over 40 this may be an exercise to avoid. "As you get older, your muscles and bones become weaker and you can injure yourself more easily," explains Djordjevic. "Deadlifts are incredibly difficult even to younger athletes and require you to be in very good shape."
  7. Standing toe touch. The idea behind the standing toe touch is to stretch out the back and hamstrings, but this exercise can cause strain in the lower back and neck for many people, according to FitnessMyself. This applies to all ages, but the risks increase with age.
  8. Trunk twist. This exercise entails lying on your back with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle and then dropping the knees to the floor first to the left and then to the right while turning the head in the opposite direction. It seems like a simple exercise, but many people don't realize how much strain they are putting on their lower back and necks, FitnessMyself reports.

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Working out comes with numerous health benefits but what you do in the gym may not always be good for your body, especially if you are getting older.
exercises to avoid
Tuesday, 22 October 2019 10:15 AM
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