Five Exercises Females Should Avoid

Five Exercises Females Should Avoid
Shonagh Walker

Lifestyle Writer

Jul 08, 2023

While we are ALL for gender equality here at The Carousel, we also have a firm grasp on reality and realise there are simply some things that men can do that women can’t, and vice versa.

In particular, we are talking about exercise. There simply are some exercises that men can do that women should steer well away from, explains Adala Bolto, founder of female fitness franchise ZADI Training.

In fact, there are some exercises that should be avoided by both sexes due to the simple fact that most people perform them incorrectly, which can lead to injury. Unless you have a specific goal, a personal trainer or can perform them with great form, it’s best to avoid any exercise where the cons may outweigh the pros.

“This applying the FITT principle (frequency, intensity, time and type) and safe balanced movement patterns in every session,” says Adala. “ZADI programs reps, sets, load and rest with female bodies and common fitness goals in mind.” 
So … what to avoid? Everything in this list below, unless of course, you are with a qualified, personal trainer.

Bicep curls with light weights and lots of reps

“Whilst it may be tempting to ditch the heavier weights for lighter ones and increase the number of reps it is more effective to alternative between heavier and lighter weights,” explains Adalo. “Repeated reps of any exercise can increase your risk of injury. Knowing your limits and alternating light and heavy weights works when it comes to building muscle and getting toned arms.”


“The problem with Superman is that many people perform the exercise incorrectly,” reveals Adalo. Furthermore, high reps of this exercise can cause overextension of the lower back- talk about kryptonite! Instead, try glute bridges, pelvic tilts or lying lateral leg lifts instead to strengthen the lower back. 
exercise to avoid
Over extending on ‘Superman’ exercise can be harmful to your back.

 Straight Leg Push Ups

Whilst straight leg push ups may look pretty neat, pushups from the knees will help protect against lower back and shoulder pain. Place your hands slightly below your shoulders with your fingers pointed forwards and slowly lower yourself to effectively work out your pectorals, deltoids, triceps and abs.

Unless you are training with a personal trainer, it is best to avoid straight leg pushups. Rest knees on the ground to help keep back aligned straight and avoid injury. Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels


Long cardio duration workouts
“Swap the long cardio workouts for HIIT to burn more fat and gain lean muscle,” says Adolo. “HIIT is great for women as it combines cardio and strength training and it is a time effective way of getting fit.” 
Sit Ups to get Abs 

“Contrary to popular belief sit ups are not the best way to get rock hard abs,” says Adalo. They can be damaging to your back and your neck. Instead, try a planking exercise, either with straight legs, or better still, with knees bent to the ground for extra stability.

Harvard Health reports sit ups are “hard on your back,” and “plank exercises, in which you assume a position and hold it, are the gold standard for working your core.”

Combine planking in combination with other core exercises such as bicycle crunches to get a defined midsection and don’t forget the role of cardio and nutrition in burning tummy fat. 


If you’re new to exercise, in particualr ab aork, modify sit-ups into partial planks, where you keep one or both knees on the ground at all times. Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

 Finding the time and motivation to workout can often be challenging. Get maximum bang for your buck by adhering to exercises that will show results. Maximize your potential and help you achieve your fitness goals! 


By Shonagh Walker

Lifestyle Writer

Shonagh Walker is a multi-award-winning lifestyle writer and author specialising in beauty, health, fashion, travel, pets and animals. Her career spans over 30 years, and she can't recall a day during that time, where she hasn't been excited to get to work!



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