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iVillage.com: Most Dangerous Exercise Machines at the Gym

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Beware: Hip Abductor (Outer Thigh)

Women believe doing this seated outer thigh machine will tone and tighten their outer thighs, but it's simply not going to happen, says Ramirez. Instead, when you're pushing out you just put pressure on the thigh and hip bones. Not only is it irritating to those bones, it may cause a hernia or symptoms of sciatica (pain and numbness of the leg).

Safer pick: Leg lifts with ankle weights

Use two-to-five pound ankle weights. Lie on your side with your head resting on your arm, legs stacked straight. Raise the top leg straight up and then back, tracing a capital letter "D" as you bring the leg back down to meet the bottom leg. Without actually resting the leg, lift it back up and to the front. Trace a lowercase letter “r” as you bring it back toward the lower leg. Lift the leg straight up one more time. Slowly lower. Repeat 25 to 50 reps per leg for two sets.

(CREDIT: GretaMarie/Cultura/Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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