Machines get no love. Judging by Instagram feeds and equipment-shunning videos, we would rather heave kettlebells, flip tires and burpee until we barf. But here’s the thing: While machines may feel like relics from long ago lifting days, they’re actually pretty darn effective when it comes to muscle growth and fat burning.
“I almost always include machines with [those] just starting a resistance program,” says Darlene Kalina Salvador, a California-based certified personal trainer and registered yoga teacher. “Machines help clients maintain correct form, learn movement patterns and assist in warming up the stabilizing muscles. People new to training are also less intimidated by machines and are more likely to use them on days when they train on their own.”
Machines also can help when it comes to rehabbing an injury. “For things like ACL injuries or runner’s knee rehab, you can strengthen the quadriceps muscle far more precisely and safely on a leg extension or leg press machine than you could doing a lunge or a squat,” says Dan Roberts, U.K. strength and conditioning coach and founder of The Dan Roberts Group.
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that mixing free weights with machine movements was the best way to prompt muscle growth.
So if you’re finally back at your health club, give those rows of gleaming (and newly disinfected!) machines another go. Not sure where to start? Read through our experts’ top 10 picks for the most effective machines and their tips on how to use each one like a pro. As an added bonus, they give recommendations for a secondary move to pair with each machine to maximize intensity. Happy machinations!
Top 10 Most Effective Machines
Seated Triceps Extension
No. 10: Seated Triceps Extension
Dumbbell triceps kickbacks are all fine and good — if you do them properly. This machine takes all the guesswork out of isolating your triceps by stabilizing your upper arms so the only movement occurs at your elbows.
Always position the seat so your entire upper arm, from your elbow to your armpit, rests on the pad. This completely supports your humerus to help maximize isolation.Never hyperextend your wrists. Keep them strong and locked in place to prevent injury and maximize power.Mind-Muscle: Picture a metal rod running horizontally through your elbows holding your arms in place.
Barn Burner: Pair this machine with triceps or sphinx push-ups to failure.
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Title: The 10 Most Effective Gym Machines
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Published Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2021 21:39:48 +0000