Home exercise equipment can not only be hazardous to those who use them, but also to young children who treat them as giant toys. With adults, the most common reason they have accidents at home is because they don’t check their equipment first. They simply assume that everything is in great shape and ready for them to use. But you should remember that you’re not at the gym where professionals have already checked everything out before you arrived.
Bright Side wants to share 5 pieces of exercise equipment that could leave you injured and explain what you can use as an alternative.
1. Foam rolls can worsen varicose veins.
Using a foam roller on your legs can increase blood flow, improve your flexibility, and help your muscles heal faster. However, if you have varicose veins, the increased blood flow isn’t necessarily a good thing. The pressure applied to them can make the pain and discomfort worse instead of relieving it, causing the veins to become more inflated. By doing this, you don’t treat the issue at its core, but only make it worse.
What you can do instead is use your bicycle as often as possible, therefore, increasing blood flow in a very healthy way. Similar to walking, it promotes circulation and, at the same time, protects your joints from injuries. Your calf muscles will also get stronger, which means that general leg health will improve. It doesn’t matter what type of bicycle you use as long as you do all the pedaling.
2. Tears in exercise bands can cause broken ribs.
In a very sad example, a man was doing his exercise using a band that was strapped to a door, when it suddenly broke. The man fell backward and sideways and broke several ribs and a few bones around his right eye. While he’s had 2 surgeries since the accident, doctors can’t be sure whether he will fully regain his eyesight. This is only one example of how exercise bands can severely injure you if you don’t check that they’re in good shape and securely fastened.
Instead, you can invest in some sliders or gliders that force the muscles of your entire body to participate. They offer too much instability and need all of your muscles to partake in order to do all the exercises. They can make your workouts very intense, and you don’t have to worry about them breaking or falling from somewhere. They are ideal for those who weightlift since they train your muscles without you needing to actually lift any weights.
3. Balance boards can cause ankle injuries.
This simple equipment is used to improve people’s balance and, more commonly, for rehabilitation and injury prevention. However, based on the level of your ankles’ strength, they can cause injuries. If, for instance, you’ve injured your ankles in the past, your chances of falling from the board are quite high. So you’d better ask for a professional trainer or a physical therapist’s help before jumping onto your board.
A very similar and safer tool that can increase your balance is a fitness ball. The “bird dog” exercise in particular targets your hips, legs, lower back, and waist the same way a balance board does. What you need to do is lie with your belly on the ball and keep your core straight. Then you can lift the opposite leg and arm, trying not to move.
4. Pull-up bars can make you land badly.
Many houses, either because they’re old or because they’re not built strong enough, can’t hold a pull-up bar. Many people have had their bars fall, resulting in minor or very serious injuries. One woman was even paralyzed after she did a complicated exercise and the bar collapsed. In another case, the screws of a bar bent, and the man exercising fell flat on his face, injuring himself.
A safer but equally good exercise would be to take a towel and wrap it around a door’s handles. What you need to do first is place a mat under the door to keep yourself in place, and make sure the hinges of the door are strong enough. You can then start your pull-ins by squatting down in a half-seated position while extending your arms. Then you pull your body toward the door frame and repeat the whole exercise.
5. Bent over rows can displace your spinal discs.
Rows are a popular type of exercise, but when it’s performed on a bench or any similar surface, it can cause severe injuries. More specifically, a spinal disc can be displaced if, during the course of the exercise, a nerve is hit. Another drawback is that your posture can get worse since your shoulders roll forward while doing the rows.
So instead of kneeling on a bench, you can stay standing while leaning forward and keeping one of your hands on the bench. With your other hand, you can hold your weight of choice and start pulling with your elbow, reaching toward your back. Slowly let your arm go back down so you avoid getting injured from the pressure.