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  • Deanne Pandey

Are you using the right Gym machines?



Gym machines are tricky in that they can range from extremely useful

to a complete waste of your time. It’s not always easy to see the difference, and we’ve criticised machines a lot in the past But they’re not all bad. In fact, if you suffer from joint pain or are recovering from an injury or if you just feel as if you need a break from free weights, some machines can do your muscles good.


So we’ve crossed out the guess work for you and created a list of the best and worst machines that you find in your gym so you don’t waste your valuable time or harm your joints.



BEST MACHINES


Horizontal Seated Leg Press


This machine works most of the muscles present in our legs like quads, hamstrings and glutes. It can be done by people recovering from injury to master their squats or for beginners who aren’t quite accustomed to the movement of squat yet.


IF your gym had vertical or inclined leg press

Please take extra care whilst using the machine and do not ever fully extend your legs to lock your knees as it might cause serious injuries.


Lat Pulldown


This is your go to machine if you want to build back muscles whilst activating your posterior chain of muscles but can’t do a pull up. You can use a narrow grip else spread your grip (so your arms are in V-shape) to make the move more challenging.


Cable Machine


Cable Machine is undoubtedly the most versatile machine. It can be used to perform various exercises targeting almost all of the muscles from shoulders to hamstrings.Its a great way of building isometric strength and overcoming muscular imbalance as it requires equal emphasis from both sides of the muscles.


Hanging Knee Raises


This machine works your core and hip muscles. It blasts your abdominal muscles whilst strengthening your upper body strength required to keep your body stable.


Calf Raises Machine


Calves have a notorious reputation amongst fitness community as they are the most stubborn muscles when it comes to growth in size.Standing Calf Raises are a good way to build those muscles but using a machine adds benefits like providing stability with weights and the elevated platform to set your toes on allows full Range of Motion (ROM) which leads to better contraction of the muscles.



WORST MACHINES


Not all gym machines are effective and more importantly injury proof.Using one of these gym machines incorrectly can cause serious injuries.


Back Extension Machine


Repeatedly flexing your lower back under a load can cause injury to the lumbar discs, and the rigid position the machine holds you in doesn’t allow your core, glutes, and hamstrings to contract as they should to protect you.


Instead do this :

Do exercises for strengthening your lower back that will maintain your spine’s natural arch like Stiff Leg Deadlifts, Bent Over Rows and you could do lower back extensions without machine.


Seated Sit Up Machine


This machine is seriously detrimental to one’s natural body posture.Yanking your neck forwards, rounding your shoulders ahead and flexing your spine is too dangerous.Sit ups of any kind cause compressed load on the spine plus adding weights to the movement in a restricted movement is better avoided


Instead do this :

Build your core strength by doing a combination of exercises like planks, leg raises, mountain climbers and ab roll outs


Seated Military Press


A shoulder press is not supposed to be vertical instead weights are supposed to go down and backwards.Using seated military press machine helps to tone the shoulders and pack on muscles but it also causes a lot of strain on the shoulder joint as it’s plane of movement is vertical instead of the natural form


Instead do this :

Pike Push Ups

Dumbbell Overhead Press



Leg Extension Machine



Using this machine is a slow but sure way of damaging your knee joints. It creates unnatural alignment of pressure on the knee joint and the risk-to-reward ratio of this machine is quite low.For betterment of your knees, it’s better to avoid this machine.


Instead do this :

Front squats

Back Squats

Lunges

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