Exercise machines are a fantastic way to build serious strength and allow people of all fitness levels to get a great workout.
As a personal trainer, I especially like beginner clients to try out lots of exercise machines to get comfortable with lifting weights. But you shouldn’t limit your workouts to exercise machines. Free weights and cable machines should be added into your regular gym routine to help challenge your body from multiple angles and increase stability and muscular control. And there are a few machines you might want to skip over the next time you’re in the gym to optimize results and keep injuries at bay.
Exercise Machines You Might Want to Skip Next Workout
- Lat-pull down: Hold up! I’m not asking you to skip the lat-pull down machine entirely, but forgo the behind-the-neck approach. When pulling a bar behind your neck, you set yourself up for a possible shoulder impingement injury. Most of us don’t possess the necessary flexibility to perform this move safely; opt for pulling the bar in front of your head instead.
- Seated leg extension: Leg extensions are another machine you can skip over the next time you’re in the gym. While this is not the case for everybody, this machine does place a lot of stress on the knee joint due to the placement of resistance. If you have any history of knee injury, be careful when performing this move.
- Seated ab machine: There are a lot of exercise machines designed to improve your core, but I’d recommend that you skip most of these machines as well the next time you’re in the gym—especially when a gym offers a rotational machine that has you seated and twisting your torso to the left and right This machine can result in serious injury to the spine and isn’t the best way to work your core. Spend your time with compound core-focused body-weight moves and add various modalities such as a stability ball or TRX instead of this machine for best results.