Six million people in the EU limp to hospitals with sports injuries every year—and they’re not all rugby players. Here's how to avoid being one of them.

There seems to be an epidemic of people on a mission to destroy their bodies

Sighs personal trainer Greg Brookes of GB Personal Training, who has come up with this list of exercises to avoid.

1. Running

A force three times your weight pounds through your legs with every stride and unless your muscles are strong, your joints feel every jolt, says Brookes. It’s much safer to walk uphill as fast as you can, taking a breather when you need one.

 

2. Sit-ups

Not only can they strain the lower back but they reinforce the tendency for your spine to bend forward, which accelerates with age. Swap them for “the plank”: supporting your weight on your forearms, pulling in the abdominals and keeping legs and spine in a straight line to strengthen your core.

 

3. Tricep dips

Supporting your weight with elbows bent puts the shoulders under tremendous strain, says Brookes. He recommends press-ups to tone the chest and arms—on your knees or against a wall if you find them hard.

 

4. Dumb-bells

Struggling to lift weights often means cutting moves short, which contracts the muscle instead of lengthening it. Use your bodyweight instead—with lunges, press-ups and squats. Or you could try Pilates with resistance bands to improve both muscle and bone.

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