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Most people believe that all exercises are good, safe and effective. After all it's exercise—and that has to count for something, doesn't it?

The truth is that some common exercises aren't safe at all (especially for people who have muscle, joint, and health problems). Certain exercises require a bit more know-how than the average person possesses. And other exercises are downright wastes of your time.

But before we examine some of the most controversial exercises, I want to make it clear that every exercise on this list isn't always unsafe or ineffective for everyone. What you should do—or avoid—depends on your goals, fitness level, health history, workout schedule, and other personal issues. An article like this can't replace your own efforts to identify your goals and needs. That requires you to do some research on your own, talk to your medical professional about any pain or physical limitations you have, and learn how to exercise with proper form and technique.

Read more: 5 Exercises You Should Never Do

Many exercises can develop strong shoulders. Some are great. Others, not so much.

The shoulder is one of the most sensitive joints in the body. It has incredible range of motion, allowing athletes to throw a baseball or swing a racquet. However, its support structure relies primarily on muscle and connective tissue.

The shoulders of athletes who participates in overhead sports like baseball, tennis or football (QB) can experience serious wear and tear. Small muscles and tendons can impinge. Support structures can wear out.

That's why you need to be careful when you work out your shoulders. You need to strengthen your shoulders, but in a way that won't cause damage, and ideally will prevent injury while improving your performance.

Here are seven shoulder-strengthening exercises that you can perform safely and effectively.

Neutral-Grip Overhead Press

Pressing overhead is generally considered a no-no for anyone at risk for a shoulder injury. This holds true for the Military Press and the Dumbbell Overhead Press, which externally rotate the shoulders. Anatomically, this puts you in a vulnerable position and increases the chance of experiencing pain or causing an injury—especially if you're a pitcher, quarterback, tennis player or any other overhead athlete.

Read more: 7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

Hi there! Thank so much for submitting your question. It's a great question, and ties in nicely with last month's column. Let's start by defining the term "butt wink."

Butt wink is a common term for losing proper spinal positioning when squatting to depth (in gym terms, "in the hole" or "ass to grass"). Instead of maintaining a neutral or slightly extended lumbar spine, the lifter experiences posterior pelvic tilt and lumbar flexion at the lowest point of their squat. This makes the butt "wink" or tuck under (the photo below left shows proper form, photo on the right shows butt wink).

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If you are overweight or obese, there are some powerful reasons to drop 10 percent of your body weight this year. Losing this amount of weight can significantly improve your health and well-being. It may not sound like a lot. In fact, most people trying to lose weight set much loftier goals for themselves, but unrealistic goals can often end in disaster.

A 10 percent goal is very doable...that's 20 pounds for someone who weighs 200; 25 pounds for a person whose scale reads 250; and 30 pounds trimmed from a 300-pound person.

Top Ten Benefits

So, what are the top ten health benefits you can expect after dropping 10 percent of your weight? In no particular order, they are:

10. Better blood pressure

9. Improved heart health and lower cholesterol levels

8. Decreased risk for diabetes

7. Enhanced sex life

Read more: Top 10 Reasons to Drop 10

When you first start a new fitness routine, you are energized and your motivation levels are at an all-time high. But over time, that motivation begins to wane and what used to seem easy to do (popping in that workout DVD, heading out for a walk or getting to the gym) is now like pulling teeth. Can you relate?

While eating right and cutting excess calories can help you lose weight, working out is an integral part to making sure that you maintain lean muscle mass, flood your body with those important feel-good endorphins, and improve your overall cardiovascular health. Regular exercise can also help you lose weight since it burns calories and fat.

So, if you're thinking of skipping a few workouts—don't! Just follow these motivational tips to keep your body moving today, tomorrow, next month—and beyond!

Motivation Tips to Work Out Today

Read more: How to Maintain Your Workout Motivation All Year Long

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