Gym Strength Machines that You May Want to Skip

Gym Strength Machines that You May Want to Skip

When you join a high-class gym like Equinox Fitness, you might feel blessed with all the advanced and sophisticated strength machines that you can use to make your muscles bigger. But these machines may be more of a curse, if you don’t know how to use them properly. In fact, they might not really help you achieve your fitness goals, and may even increase the risk of injury.

It’s best that you get yourself a certified trainer who can help you use the right strength machines, and use them correctly. If you’re going at it on your own, then perhaps you might want to skip the following strength machines for the moment:

Rotary Torso Machine (or Seated Spinal Twist Machine)

Whatever it’s called, it’s the machine where you sit down and grip the handlebars, and then you use your torso to twist your whole upper portion. This is meant to train the obliques.

But what you’re actually doing when you’re keeping your hips in place while you twist your torso is that you’re just wringing out your lower spine like a wet rag. You’re putting too much rotation on your lumbar spine, and that’s not good for a joint that you should keep stable all the time.

The better alternatives to this machine are rotation and anti-rotation core exercises, which keep your torso and hips facing the same direction all the time.

Seated Abs Crunch Machine

The point of this machine is to train your six-pack muscles (aka your rectus abdominis) harder than your usual bodyweight crunches can.

But this can be problematic with people who have weak cores, or those with current issues with their backs. The machine just puts on unnecessary stress on the lower back.

Another problem with this machine is that lots of people cheat by using their upper body to throw their torso down.

The better alternatives for this machine, for newbies and for those with lower back issues, is to go with bodyweight crunches. If you think these crunches are no longer enough, then you can start with cable rope crunches.

What if you can perform the slow and controlled rope crunches properly, without using your upper body and without feeling any back pain? Then it may be time to use the seated abs crunch machine. But you still need to balance out the exercises with this machine with stability exercises like planks.

Leg Press

In theory, this is a helpful machine. It’s supposed to boost your upper-body strength without outing too much weight on your spine. And if you’re limiting yourself to very light loads or you’re already freakishly strong, this machine is for you.

The issue with the leg press machine is that you can load more weight on your legs than you’re actually strong enough too handle. And if you’re not already an advanced weightlifting veteran, this is an easy mistake to make.

So, is this machine for you? It is, if you can squat with a barbell that’s as heavy as your body weight. If you’re not yet at this stage, then stick to barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells.

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