The 10 Worst Exercises For Your Back

Perform these strength moves wrong, and you're in for a backache (or worse). Experts explain how to fix your form and offer even better alternatives

January 11, 2013
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A strong core and back signals more than six-pack abs. (Related: Get chiseled abs in just four weeks with this expert-approved plan.) Working out these muscles also increases your body's flexibility and balance and provides extra stability for your spine. So whether you're kicking butt in a bootcamp class or shoveling snow at home, your body will be performing movements more effectively, says Pete McCall, a San Diego, CA-based exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise.

But there's a problem: when performed incorrectly, these otherwise effective moves can pull your spine out of alignment, put too much pressure on the disks, pinch a nerve -- or just give you unnecessary back pain. Mix in a few reps of exercises that work both your back and shoulders with bad form, and your sweat session might be causing you more harm than good.

Is your favorite move on our naughty list? Check out our tally of the 10 worst exercises for your back--and better, safer options.

More: The BEST Exercises for Your Back

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