Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Workout ~ Top 5 Gym Equipment To Avoid

I am brand new to becoming a gym rat. I have always worked out at home. I would scour freecycle, and yard sales for equipment. Friends would give me their year old barley-used cardio equipment. I once even picked up a stair stepper from the metal pile at the dump.

Last summer we had to move from our house, with the HUGE basement and into a smaller duplex, with half a basement and a dirt floor. All of my stuff is dismantled and piled up in the shed. My dining room has a corner in it with red milk crates holding all my weight plates and my table is in with the equipment in the shed so I can have room for the treadmill. There is just no room.

So I broke down and bought a year long gym membership. I got the personal tour of the gym equipment by a very cute personal trainer. I thought since I already have the freeweight I would make a workout program using all the fancy white machines to target specific muscle groups. The plan was Monday; chest, quads, core, and tri's. Wednesday ; back hamstring,core, and biceps. Friday; Glutes, core and shoulders.

I found that I some machines are better than others. I wound up mixing up the machines with the free weights and other equipment. I will have a more detailed workout when I tweak it some more. So for now here are some machines I hate to use and you should probably avoid.

5 Machines to avoid:

  1. Seated Leg Extension: As soon as I did the first rep, and it was a light weight, I could feel it more in my knee than anywhere else. The good people from the Mayo Clinic have said that since the weight is at the ankle, there is a high amount of torque being placed on the knee. Better for you: any variation of squats and lunges
  2. Seated Rotation Machine: I found that being seated and twisting my body into the "correct" position and it is the most unnatural position I have ever been in. Everything from the waist down is facing forward and my entire upper body twisted back. It puts undue stress on the spine. Better for you: seated oblique twist with or without a medicine ball.
  3. Lying Leg Curl Machine: Another unnatural machine that isolates just the hamstring. I do not think one should train just the hamstrings. When doing an exercise like a deadlift, it targets the hamstrings but other muscles are there to help support the body, including the abs and the back. Better for you: Deadlifts
  4. Triceps Press-down Machine: Pick a weight, place your hands on the handle and keep your elbows in tight to the body, is what I was told. I did it the correct way, or at least that is what the trainer said, but I felt it in my shoulder as much as my tris, by  the end of the set my shoulders were sore. Better for you: assisted dip machine, kickbacks
  5. Hip Adduction and Abduction Machines: I may be partial because it felt like a visit to the gynecologist, but regardless of that it still felt limited. I do side kicks all the time, it is one of my favs, but the motion is not the same and was very isolating to small muscles in the hip/inner thigh. Better for you: multi-hip machine, i think your bones are in a better posistion.
Which machines you you dislike and why?