Getting in shape is stressful and difficult; there are no short cuts nor one-night solution to get those flabs dissolved and get your abs to show. Along with proper diet, in order to lose weight and maintain a toned body, you also would need to exercise regularly.
Sure, going to the gym and having a fitness trainer could make everything easier. However, there are gym equipment and exercises that can harm your posture. Remember, if you can stand in bad posture, the same effect can be seen when doing an exercise poorly. There are possibilities you can perform an exercise improperly or the exercise may not be that much useful to you in general.
Do know that not all gym machines are completely useful, some are actually awful. Don’t let your body suffer, know as early as now to improve your training by avoiding (and/or learning correctly) these exercises.
Many people have replaced sit ups and did crunches instead since traditional sit ups don’t really target the muscles you’re targeted to work and develop — your abs. Plus, it strains your neck and pull your lower back which then results to muscle aches. So if in case you’re still doing sit ups, stop now.
With regards to crunches, much like sit ups, repetitive motion of this exercise for almost the rest of your life may only result to straining and damaging your back. Although some fitness trainers still require crunches, the only thing that would make the exercise really effective is by doing it properly. All the pull and action should be done from the abdominals and not your neck. Crunches does not take your fat off around the area so you probably need to step from it for a while and get to it later on if you’re concentrating on burning off fat in your belly.
Seated Leg Extension Machine
Have you tried using this machine in the gym? Have you even ever wondered what it’s primary purpose? This equipment only targets your quadriceps and nothing more. So, you’ve been wasting your time and energy using this machine just to work your quads. Truly disappointing. Many are guilty of using this machine and not knowing what it is exactly for. If you had known beforehand that it only targets your quads, surely you’ll skip this apparatus any day.
If you are susceptible to knee pains, this wouldn’t help you become less vulnerable just by doing the exercise. In fact, the machine trains you motion that you’re legs don’t replicate in your daily lives. There are many other gym equipment you can use to train your legs and core (not just your quads) you can use that of course, still observes proper form. Putting more stress in your body isn’t going to help you stronger.
Photo source: Women’s Health
Leg Press Machines
Whether it be seated or inverted, these machines’ dangers outweighs the purposes and supposed benefits. It is actually mechanically bad for your body. Why so? It puts too much effort and stress on your lower back and knees and does not stabilize muscles and ligaments in your hips, glutes, shoulders and the likes. In simpler words: More pain and little to no gain.
Save yourself a visit to a spine specialist by keeping a distance from this machine. Does the machine reminds you of an oldy, simpler yet effective exercise? Instead of using them, perform squats for they are more effective and they engage more stabilization necessary for your target areas. Step up the exercise by holding a dumbbell or kettlebell to keep your position aligned. Improve your strength by doing 15-20 20 repetitions each set.
Seated Hip Abductor/Adductor Machine
This device trains and is designed to target small group muscles — particularly your inner and outer thighs. But because you are seated, much like how other apparatuses are, it engages you a movement that is subjected to no functional use or in short, useless. Since the machine forces your legs to open and close, it puts too much pressure on your hip capsules.
What could be a better alternative to strengthen and improve your inner and outer thighs? There are many options actually. Grab a resistance band and wrap it around your knees and walk sideways. Also, step ups and lunges i.e. walking lunges, cross-behind lunges, etc., are also effective exercises to work your thighs that actually strengthens your legs and improve functionality.
Behind-The-Neck Lat Pull Down
This one is great at attracting weight lifters and those who wants to shape and tone their shoulders and back. Not very known to many, this device requires very flexible shoulders and if you fail to have that, chances are, you’re in it for shoulder impingement syndrome or far worse, a tear in your rotator cuff.
To solve this, fitness trainers require their clients to pull the bar down in front of their shoulders aligned in your collarbone, not behind their neck or head. It’s a safer way to work your lats and still use the same gym machine.
Before you go straight to a machine (like most gym goers usually do), reach out to a professional fitness trainer first and ask regarding the purpose of the apparatus; is it designed to target the areas in which you want to develop? Do you think you have the ability and strength to carry on the exercise? Know your goals. If your goal is to lose weight, focus more on cardio instead since abdominal exercises won’t give you immediate and best results.
Seeing all the gym apparatuses only intimidates you and pushes you to try them if not all, then at least those that gym goers usually uses. Don’t push yourself especially your body too hard and over its limits, aside from barely gaining, you’ll only cause yourself stress, injury and any other risks.
Sometimes, the simplest exercises are far more effective and better than using any tools or complicating them. There are various ways you can step up the workout to increase the strength and development of your body.
About Chie Suarez
When she’s not doing planks and jumping jacks, Chie Suarez writes for FitBiz. FitBiz Exercise Equipment is a company that offers brand name fitness equipment in Australia.