Machine Madness: The Worst Machines in a Gym

Having a proper exercise regime is key to a healthy lifestyle. If you go to the gym, you are further ahead of the game than 80% of the US population so well done! However, gym goers may not be aware that there are some machines in the gym that can actually hinder your progress and even get you injured. So to make sure you are hitting the gym in the right way, here are the machines to watch out for:

  1. Hip Abductor/Adductor Machine – This is a machine extremely popular among women. You’ve probably seen it, a seated machine where the user spreads their legs wide or squeezing them together with weighted pads on either side. The problem is less about what muscles it’s working out (which is very few by the way) but more to do with the stress it puts on your spine and IT band, which can pull your knee caps out of place. Yikes!
    • Instead try a One Legged Squat. It works the same muscles, as well as the whole rest of your leg making it a safer, more effective exercise.
  2.  Seated Chest Press Machine – Now this machine is just a lopsided chest waiting to happen. Because both handles of this machine are connected to the same pulley, your stronger arm/pectoral muscle can end up pushing all the weight, meaning one side gets the muscle exercise and the other is left wanting.
    • Pushups are a great alternative to the Seated Chest Press. They EVENLY work your pecs as well as your arms and shoulders. Symmetry and compound moves, it’s a beautiful thing!
  3. Seated Leg Extension Machine – These machines pose a danger to one of the most important pair of joints in your body. Your knees. Because the machine places the weight at your ankles, you can wear down the ligaments in your knee as well as weaken the joint itself. Bad idea!
    • The best alternative? Look no further than Step Ups. No,not the movie, the exercise. Step Ups, using a box or bench work your quads and glutes better than any machine, especially if you use dumbbells or kettle bells in each hand.
  4. Lying (or deep seated) Leg Press Machine – As a rule, it’s generally best to keep your legs under you, where they were meant to be. And that rule extends into the gym! The Lying Leg Press is a danger because of the sheer weight it takes to actually do anything for your legs. All that weight above you puts a massive strain and flex on your lower back. We all know that spells sciatica or even a herniated disk!
    • Why not opt for the far better Goblet Squat! The Goblet Squat targets the same muscles the Lying Leg Press is meant to, but goes further and hits the whole lower body. However the addition of a dumbbell or kettle bell held in front of you as you squat ties the pressure and stress off your lower back.

Watch out my fantastic gym junkies! You’re already putting in the work, just make sure it’s the going to the right places!