AS people work hard to shed the post-Christmas flab fitness experts are warning against potentially dangerous workouts.

Boffins from say new members at gyms should steer clear of moves which could cause injuries.

From behind the neck pull-downs to excessive cardio training, new gym-goers should steer clear of certain exercises.

A spokesperson from said: “Gyms are experiencing their busiest time of year as thousands of Brits try to get rid of those unwanted Christmas pounds.

“New gym-goers hitting the weights this year should avoid taking on these dangerous exercises otherwise they could seriously injure their body.

“It’s recommended to start off with simple exercises so they can perfect their technique and build up a good core level of fitness before taking on more challenging work outs.” has identified exercises which novice gym-goers should avoid and alternative options.

Behind-the-neck pull-downs

This exercise requires the user to thrust their head and neck forward which can result in a muscle strain, pull or tear if performed with a poor technique. In a worst-case scenario, this exercise can move a gym-goers spine out of alignment when under heavy load which could lead a spinal disk herniation.

Alternative exercise: To-the-sternum pull-downs

Instead, gym newbies should try this exercise as they are less likely to injure hyper sensitive areas such as the spine due to a more comfortable positioning of the bar. The key to performing this exercise correctly involves maintaining good form by keeping an upright posture throughout.

Seated leg extensions

Using this popular machine targets the quadricep muscles at the front of the thighs, however this equipment can easily cause injury. For new gym-goers not used to resistance training this type of exercise can have a detrimental effect on a person’s knees.

Alternative exercise: Split Squats

This exercise is safer for fitness fans just starting out at the gym as it places the knees in a more natural position reducing the load put on the joint and therefore lessening the potential risk of injury.

Long durations of cardio exercise

Excessive cardio work outs can lead to over-training injuries such as chronic joint soreness as the ankles, knees, hips and lower-back take a pounding back when running on either a treadmill or outside. Failing to give the body sufficient time to recover in between workouts can cause injury in these susceptible areas.

Alternative exercise: HIIT training

This is a form of interval training that requires a high level of intensity during a workout but is completed over a shorter duration of time. The nature of this exercise means the repeated impact on the bodies joints is reduced when compared to cardio training.