When going to the gym, you will notice that there are a lot of machines. Each machine serves their own purpose and there are some exercises that can only be done on certain machines.
But there are also a lot of machines which are actually doing more harm than good, and there are corresponding alternatives to exercises on these machines, which is why there are machines you should actually avoid.
Seated leg extension machine
Seated leg extension machines are supposed to train your quadriceps. However, the machine actually strengthens a motion your legs aren’t supposed to perform. In other words, it actually strains your muscles due to the activity it does. If you wish to train your quadriceps, then you should better use one-legged body-weight squats. To do one-legged body-weight squats, you lift one leg and bend the knee opposite to it. Dip as far as you can, with control, while flexing at the hip, knee and ankle. If you are just starting, use a rail to support you. Aim to do five to ten reps on each leg.
Seated shoulder press machine
This machine is supposed to train your shoulders and triceps. But it actually harms you by putting your shoulder joints into vulnerable biochemical positions. This is because of overhead pressing. It gives stress to your shoulders which are unnecessary. Also, because you are on a machine, your hips won’t actually be able to assist your shoulders. A better alternative is by using medicine-ball throws. Do this exercise by squatting while holding the ball; you would then throw the medicine ball on a spot on the wall. Aim to have 15 repetitions of this exercise.
License: Creative Commons image source
Seated behind-the-neck lat pull-down machine
Another machine that you should avoid is the seated behind-the-neck lat pull-down machine. This machine is supposed to train your lats, upper back and biceps. But instead, it causes damage to your rotator cuff and pinching in the shoulder joint. This is because you can’t do exercises on this machine unless you have ridiculously flexible shoulders. It would be best to do inclined pull-ups. Do 10 to fifteen repetitions of inclined pull-ups.
Seated chest fly machine
The seated chest fly machine is supposed to actually train your chest and shoulders. But it actually puts your shoulder in an unstable position and it puts a lot of stress on your shoulder joints and the connective tissue. You would be better off doing inclined push-ups if you wish to train your chest and shoulders. This can easily be done by getting something sturdy for your hands and shoulders to rest on. Then do regular push-ups while inclined on that object.
Seated hip abductors machine
If you wish to train your upper thighs, then the seated hip abductors machine might have been recommended to you. However, since you are seated on this machine; you are actually doing unnecessary movements. And if done excessively, it can actually damage your spine due to pressure on it. A safer and better alternative would be lateral band walks. To do this, you need to have a short and looped resistance bands around your legs. With the bands, sidestep for twenty paces to the left or right, then back.
Seated rotation machine
The seated rotation machine is a machine that is supposed to train your abdominal and obliques. But since your pelvis won’t move along with your chest, this exercise will actually provide so much twisting force on your spine. You are better off doing a cable wood chop. Do 10 to 12 reps with the cable wood chop.
The number of machines you should actually avoid reflects the stand on how much machines affect exercise. A lot of machines that do most of the work are actually detrimental to your exercise. This is why it is best to do free-weight exercises, since all your muscle groups would be included in the exercise.
About Jerry – Jerry has been writing articles about exercise. He has a sufficient amount of experience writing articles on exercise tips and has produced a lot of articles related to health and exercise. You can reach him on his site phenterminewars.