All machines are not created equal.
Your everyday gym houses a plethora of different machines and gadgets all aimed at improving the physical form, some less so than others. Some may even do you more harm than good. There are frankly some machines that you should avoid all together if you wish to avoid nagging injuries. Unsure of what those machines are? We’ve got your back and have created a comprehensive list on some of the machines to avoid at the gym.
4. Abdominal Crunch Machine
The abdominal crunch machine, or abominable crunch machines as they should be called, are pretty useless for building adequate muscle for the abdomen. When working out the abs one must not only utilize stomach muscles but also the hip flexors as well. The abdominal crunch machine takes the hip flexors out of the argument banking on the idea that isolated the stomach muscles will provide a more intense exercise. It doesn’t.
3. Seated Shoulder Press Machine
The seated shoulder press machine is yet another workout device that can prove not only useless but dangerous all in one. When performing the shoulder presses in such a motion it proves to put a great deal of stress on the spine and has been proven to cause back and shoulder injuries that otherwise could have been easily avoided. Using free weights instead is the way to go with this exercise; there’s less stress on the shoulders and the results are infinitely increased.
2. Smith Bench Press
The smith bench press seems like a great idea in theory. Having the bar secure means less risk of injury right? I mean all you have to do if you want to incorporate heavy weights is slide on the plates to your desired weight and you’re good to go. Unfortunately things aren’t that simple. The smith bench press isolates the arms which some may see as a benefit, but in reality this isolation only proves to damage your shoulders, particularly your rotator cuffs. The whole point of benching is to not only improve your chest muscles but improve overall strength in general. In order to reap the benefits of benching you’ll need to engage multiple muscle groups and use your entire body’s strength something the smith bench doesn’t offer. Old fashioned benching works best for overall results.
1. Smith Squat Machine
Another machine worthy of your contempt is the smith squat machine. Like the smith bench the smith squat machine can prove to be more hazardous than one thinks. The isolation on the legs take the core out of the entire exercise which is essential to eliminating stress on the user’s knees. By focusing sole attention on the legs it puts too much pressure on the joints. In a freestanding squat the user’s core and lower back helps to eliminate this kind of pressure. The great thing about the smith machines are that they help with form and are great for beginners, but ultimately the price paid once you increase the weight and make steady progression just isn’t worth it. Once you learn the form it’s best to do the old fashioned freestanding squats and lift on a normal bench. Your body will thank you later.