5 Workouts (Besides CrossFit) That May Actually Be Hurting You

by Joe Epstein on 2 June 2014 1 comment

It's hard to look sexy in a hospital gown. So you need to make sure that all that effort you're putting in at the gym is ultimately building your body up, not breaking it down.

Just ask the trainer behind this brand new post about the potential dangerous of CrossFit, which has been shared half a million times on Facebook this week, and ignited debates among all sorts of athletes and fitness fans.

Crossfit, though, isn't the only popular workout regimen that has some critics questioning safety. And while nearly any workout can be ineffective or even dangerous if performed incorrectly, the X below have been cited as particularly worth keeping an eye on:

1. P90X

Like CrossFit, critics of this super high-intensity workout routine can lead to tendon strain, and more damaging, a condition called rhabdomyolsis, in which toxins from the breakdown of muscle tissues release into the bloodstream and damage the kidneys. Unlike CrossFit though, which is generally performed in a gym alongside instructors (or at least other participants), P90X is largely centered on a DVD series, meaning it's often done in isolation at home. This means, of course, that there's even more responsibility on the part of the exerciser to be careful.

2. Kettlebells

There's something undeniably fun — Viking-esque, even — about swinging around these heavy, anvil-looking things. But according to Mens Health, improper use of the bells could lead to serious injuries to joints all over the body. The fun of swinging, actually, may be what makes the exercise notably risky: each movement needs to be practiced and controlled, and "getting too fancy" or "muscling the bell" can be particularly dangerous.

3. Hot Yoga

If holding stressful poses in a room heated to 105 degrees gives you some pause, you're not the only one. Consumer Reports recently quoted a physiologist at the American College of Sports Medicine saying "there is very little research about hot yoga… and most of what's available has been done poorly." Suspected risks, though, include heat stroke and infection, given that the conditions for a hot yoga studio also provide an ideal breeding place for germs.

4. Box Jumps

Actually part of some CrossFit routines, this specific workout — which consists, fittingly enough, of jumping onto a box — may put you at risk for Achilles tears. While experts suggest that stepping down (as opposed to jumping down) may significantly reduce the risk to your Achilles, a Google search of "box jumps torn Achilles" may be enough to keep you thinking outside the box for good.

5. Marathon Training for Weight Loss

Conquering 26 miles is a worthy goal and a huge accomplishment, but some experts suggest that trying to run a marathon as a means to the end of losing weight is a bad idea. Unprepared and out of shape bodies can be left with serious injuries in their lower joints not ready for the stress. Better, some trainers contend, to lose weight and then train for a marathon, not to do the latter as a means to the former.

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Ashley Marcin's picture

Definitely agree about marathon training for weight loss. In fact, those of us who do it right actually end up gaining a bit of weight throughout the process!