Contraindicated Exercises

Blog Post

The Cooper Institute
The Cooper Team
March 21, 2014

Contraindicated exercises are those that carry higher risks to joint structure, soft tissue, or other risks. Because the risks typically outweigh the benefits, these exercises are inappropriate for most individuals. Of course, there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach as individuals have variability in their fitness level, health history, joint mechanics, flexibility, and goals. There are a number of exercises that are not appropriate but with just a slight modification injury risk can be significantly reduced.

Issues most common in causing an exercise to be considered contraindicated (risky) include:

  • Improper body alignment
  • Locking of joints
  • Rapid, jerky, & uncontrolled movements
  • Hyperextension
  • Overstretching
  • Excessive compression of structures

Identification of the above characteristics may be an appropriate reason to consider a safer alternative exercise. Selecting a safer alternative, as well as being conscious of posture and alignment, can help reduce the potential for an exercise to cause injury or be considered contraindicated.


Stay in touch

Subscribe to our email list for the latest Cooper Institute news and updates.