The 15 Most Dangerous Exercise Machines at the Gym (and Safer Alternatives to Try)

There's a reason why you're required to fill out a consent form when you join a gym: Some of the equipment can be dangerous if you don't use it properly. Here are a few bad exercise machines you should avoid and the safer alternatives to use instead (16 Photos)

Linda Melone on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:03AM

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The 15 Most Dangerous Exercise Machines at the Gym (and Safer Alternatives to Try)

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Rotary Torso Machine (Works Obliques)

This machine locks hips into position so only your waist moves. This puts you in a very inefficient position and puts a lot of torque on the spine, says Schoenfeld. "It's especially dangerous when initiating the movement -- that’s when there's greatest stress on the spine."

Safer Pick: Wood chops with a medicine ball This move is more effective and less stressful to the spine.

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and extend a light-to-medium medicine ball (5 to 6 pounds) in front of you. Bend knees and hips, dropping into a squat as you bring the ball down to touch your left foot, shin or knee (depending on your flexibility). Rise up out of the squat as you simultaneously rotate and raise the ball up and across your opposite side, as if throwing it over your opposite shoulder. Do 10 lifts to each side for two sets.

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