Many of us don’t have endless hours to spend in the gym. So it’s important to come up with a plan each day to maximize your time and get the most out of the machines.
However, it can definitely be overwhelming when it comes to deciding which machine to use. But among the rows of weighted cables, racks, and pulleys, there are a few machines you should avoid. It’s not because they aren’t effective, but there are other options that are more beneficial to your body when you need to squeeze in a quick workout.
Consider avoiding these machines at your next gym sesh:
Seated Bicep Curls
This machine is worth using only if you’re looking to build muscle mass. It allows you to slowly add weights in increments while having some assistance. While it is possible to progress to heavier lifting for increase in size, many of us don’t want huge biceps anyway — so opt for a standing curl instead. You can get a better range of motion which allows more muscle fibers to fire, creating definition and not bulk. Try raising one knee and balance on one leg while curling. It will really target assisting muscle groups (hello, core!) and help you develop balance.
Seated Triceps Pushes
Again, why sit when you can stand? Having a range of motion is very crucial when working out your triceps. It’s a long, lean muscle so longer movements will hit the entire muscle band. A better option would be to use a cable machine. Set the cable at shoulder height and add a single handle grip. Face away from the machine and raise your elbow to a 90 degree angle at chest level. Keep the area from armpit to elbow (your triceps) completely still. Extend your forearm in a straight line so it lines up with your triceps (180 degree angle). Then slowly return the forearm to the bent 90 degree position and repeat.
This machine isn’t a weight machine or a cardio equipment…which is why we recommend avoiding this one altogether. Whichever muscles this machine is intended to work can be worked much more effectively by specifically targeting them instead. Additionally, the repetitive motions of turning the wheel can damage your shoulder sockets and elbows. Stick to biking with your feet instead of your arms.
We’re not saying to completely avoid the elliptical (don’t worry!) but use the elliptical to work out your legs and arms. Using your arms in a workout can increase your heart rate by up to 30 percent which equates to a much larger caloric burn. Get an even better workout by peddling backwards. We’re constantly using our quadriceps and hip flexors in a forward motion so give your body a chance to use the opposing muscles — the hamstrings and glutes — which will also firm up your booty!
xx, The FabFitFun Team