For the uninitiated, the gym will look like a room with a wide range of machines, weights, and gym buffs. If it’s your first time you might not even know the difference between a dumbbell and a kettlebell, let alone a chest press or a cable bicep bar!
So with that in mind, how would you know which gym equipment will guarantee you the results you want? Which ones won’t? And how you can tell the difference?
Don’t fret. That’s why we have articles like this to help get you started!
In this article, we’ll focus on the array of machines you’d 100% be facing inside the fitness facility—the strength-training machines. You might have tried, or already know some of them, but unless you’ve done your research or had first-hand experience, it’s hard to know what their functions are completely. Without further ado…
What Are Strength-Training Machines?
According to a health and fitness expert from Vivotion.com, gym machines are a great way to help you achieve where you want to be.
Gym machines are specialised equipment designed to focus on a specific muscle or muscle group(s). Not only they do a superb job in supporting workouts, but they also come in handy by providing you with instructions to assist you in checking and perfecting your form.
Why Gym Machines?
If you haven’t been in the gym for a long time, or wish to gain back strength post-injury, an easy way to get back on track is through weight machines.
As claimed by a certified personal trainer for the New York Health and Racquet Club, Stuart Munro, machines are much safer, especially if you haven’t got full strength, balance, or a full range of motion.
With that in mind, here are the seven gym machines worth using. Each of these machines is sure to help you build strength and train your body to use the right muscles.
7 Strength-Training Machines Worth Using
1. Horizontal Seated Leg Press
Whether you’re an athlete or you just want to have a balanced physique, a leg workout is essential.
The leg press is the ideal exercise equipment for leg training as it helps in strengthening your leg muscles. It works your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
This machine could be your go-to lower-body machine. Not only that, but performing the leg press may also help improve your speed.
Moreover, if you use this machine with the correct technique, it can help you move toward proper squats, which you do off the machine, using a barbell.
2. Lateral Pull Down
A lat pull-down is a cable-based machine that targets your latissimus dorsi, the broadest muscle of the back, and shoulder girdle.
Did you know that regular lat exercise can help you look toned? If you want to achieve a toned body, then adding this exercise to your workout routine is a no-brainer.
If you can’t do a full pull-up, this is the machine for you! Consider the Lat Pull-Down a perfect gateway exercise to building up to full pull-ups.
Not only does using this machine help in building your back muscles, but this will also help you begin enabling the entire posterior chain.
A seated cable row is a great alternative to hit your back muscles if your local gym doesn’t have a lat pull-down machine.
3. Cable bicep curls
This machine helps in isolating your biceps. If you want to shape your arms, then adding this machine to your routine could be the answer.
According to a certified trainer and precision running coach, Rachel Mariotti, this strength-training machine is a great way to avoid the swinging that usually happens with dumbbells.
At the same time, the cable is designed to help you slowly raise and lower the weight. Trust me, with all of these precise movements; you’ll get the more out of this than dumbbells. At least as a beginner.
4. Tricep Push Down
Triceps Pushdown can help you to strengthen the three muscles on the backs of your upper arms that are responsible for extending and straightening your arm.
This machine also works your shoulders, back, and abdominal muscles. A regular triceps pushdown strength-training routine will help you build stronger and more toned triceps, and engages your core as well.
5. Chest Press
This machine comes in handy if you don’t feel 100% comfortable doing some barbell or dumbbell bench press exercises.
A chest press machine targets the primary muscle of the chest, the pectorals. It also helps you with any daily activities that require carrying or pushing.
Not only is it more time-efficient to use, and safer, & easier to isolate targeted muscles with this machine, but a chest press exercise also has a similar motion as doing push-ups. So it’s a great way if you can’t do pushups right now but plan to do so in the future.
It’s the perfect way to enhance your muscle balance, especially if you’re an athlete that primarily use pulling muscles, e.g. swimming, rock climbing or even wrestling.
6. Hanging Leg Raises
This exercise targets your core and hip flexors.
The Hanging Leg Raise is an exercise that helps you increase your core strength and definition, and it’s one of the best ways to develop your abdominals.
By raising your legs, it engages all of your abdominal muscles, including your lower abs—making this exercise better than performing Crunches as crunches only engage your upper abs.
7. Rowing Machine
Using a rowing machine is a perfect way to boost your overall health. Not only it is a low-impact workout, but it can pretty much be used by anybody regardless of their current level of fitness.
This machine is a piece of exercise equipment that imitates the motion of rowing a boat in water, providing you with a full-body workout! Not to mention that it also targets your posterior chain, e.g. external obliques, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, Achilles tendon.
It helps in building your cardio endurance, too! Moreover, it is ideal for weight loss, toning and strengthening your muscles, and increasing your stamina.
Author Bio: Isabel Speckman is a North Carolina-based freelance writer and work-from-home mother of three. In her 10 years as a professional writer, she’s worked in proposal management, grant writing, and content creation. Her writing skills may be confirmed independently. Personally, she’s passionate about teaching her family how to stay safe, secure and action-ready in the event of a disaster or emergency.