4 popular exercises that trainers avoid to prevent injuries

These exercises can do more harm than good

An influx of TikTok influencers — who all have great bodies, but not necessarily a degree or experience in personal training — has many personal trainers and others worried that their followers will end up hurting themselves.

“Listening to advice on TikTok could be dangerous because the information is not tailored to the individual who is listening or watching. No one knows your body’s limits better than you do,” warned Andrew Laux, an NASM-certified personal trainer.

While certified professionals try to keep their clients from bad advice on popular social apps, they also shared a few popular exercises they generally avoid to keep from getting injured.

Behind the neck pull downs

“Behind the neck pull downs,” answered Ashlye Bergen, personal trainer, nutritionist and CEO of A Team Fitness, when The Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked.

“It can easily impinge the neck nerve,” she explained. “It’s best to pull towards the collar bone in front and squeeze the shoulder blades down and back.”

American kettlebell swing

Proper posture and technique can make the difference between building muscle and being injured, Jay Rose, the co-founder of Phase SiX told HuffPost when explaining why he steers clear of American kettlebell swings.

“The overhead position can put excessive strain on the shoulder, lower back and neck, especially if the lifter has poor shoulder mobility or lack of necessary strength to control the kettlebell in the overhead position.”

Weighted planks

Planks can be a great way to build that perfect set of abs, but weighted planks can cause real problems.

“Loading a plank with weight can often lead to compromised form like a sway in the low back, which means you’ve released your core engagement, and/or unnecessary tension in the traps and neck as we focus on simply resisting against the weight,” said Jessica Aronoff, head trainer at the ness, a dance-based fitness studio in New York.

Loaded back squats

Whether you use a Smith machine or a free barbell, squatting with heavy loads can help build strength and muscle, but it can also damage multiple areas of the body.

“Most of the general population is lacking freedom in their body and they’re tight in certain areas that will not allow them to be able to back squat efficiently,” celebrity trainer Don Saladino told Insider.