If you are new to the gym, you know how overwhelming the endless rows of workout equipment can be. Machines for your calves, machines for your biceps, machines for your abs—the list goes on and on. While you want to take advantage of every machine available, you also want to get the most out of your workout. Here are several exercise machines that might be leading you astray.
It seems so simple. You sit or stand, work this machine, and automatically have an impressive physique. Is it too good to be true? The answer varies according to the machine you’re using at the time. For example, the seated leg extension machine. Sit in this system and you will feel the burn. It seems effective so it must be effective. If only exercising were that simple. The fact is, this machine is supposed to train the quadriceps, but the motion this machine creates isn’t actually how your legs were designed to move. Instead, it puts strain on the ligaments surrounding the kneecaps.
This simple fact could be devastating on leg day. One machine down, where to now? Don’t always rely on machines for a good solid workout. A healthier alternative is a squat that works this exact muscle. Want to know how? You lift one leg while the other bends and squats as far as possible. This will give you an even better burn than the seated leg extension machine.
Another seated exercise machine that you might want to avoid is the seated shoulder press machine. While it is supposed to train shoulders and triceps, this contraption puts a lot of unnecessary stress on the shoulders without the assistance of your leg muscles. When you think about the position your body is in for this exercise, it’s not difficult to see that you cannot achieve maximum shoulder training.
Instead of this machine, opt for a free weight exercise. Medicine-ball throws works the same muscles in the shoulders and triceps and allows you to stand and use your legs for support. Medicine- ball throws do not require two people. Simply stand a couple of feet from a wall, bounce the ball about four feet above your head, squat to catch the ball, and continue this routine in one fluid motion. After about 15 to 20 reps, you will feel a nice burn.
It is quite surprising how good of a workout you can get without the assistance of machines. The body works so well when you can use your muscles together. Machines that require you to sit often take away the continuity of muscle use in the body.
This final machine is supposed to work your outer thighs, but instead, it can put pressure on the spine. If you insist on using this machine, despite the fact that it trains your muscles using a movement with no use, be cautious of your technique and weight. Don’t put too much weight on the machine or you will lose your technique.