Exercise Machines to Avoid at the Gym

by April 14, 2014

Gyms are jam packed full of a wide selection of exercise machines, some very effective while others very damaging. Every piece of equipment can be damaging to our bodies if used incorrectly and others are rarely ever used correctly. There are some machines however that have minimal benefit to our muscles and health; but continue to appear in gyms throughout North America. 

Top Exercise Machines to Avoid

There are five key machines that we either never use correctly and others that have zero benefit to our exercise routines. These exercise machines can be used but in the end won’t do much for us if used incorrectly. The following are the top exercise machines to avoid.  

Seated Leg Extension Machine 

seated leg extension machineThis machine is used to train our quadriceps but in reality it is encouraging a motion our legs don’t actually have the ability to do. This in turn puts an undue strain on ligaments and tendons around our kneecaps, causing unnecessary muscle damage. 

Better exercise option: one legged body weight squats.  

How to: lift one leg up, bend opposite knee, dip down as far as possible flexing the hip, knee and ankle of raised leg. Use rail for support until leg strength and balance developed. 

Seated Chest Fly Machinepectoral fly machines

The seated chest fly machine is used to train the chest and shoulders but in actuality it is putting your shoulder into an unstable position and causing high stress on the joints and tissues in your shoulders. 

Better exercise option: Incline push ups. 

How to: Just like regular push ups, but having your upper body on a higher surface. This is a exercise done by those who struggle doing regular push ups but want to build upper body strength. 

Seated Leg Press Machine 

leg press machineThe seated leg press machine is used to train quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings; but it is in the end forces the spine to flex while not utilizing any stabilization muscles such as the hips, glutes, lower back and shoulders. 

Better exercise option: Body weight squats 

How to: Descend without rounding lower back while bending knees and keeping hands behind your ears. 

Other Exercise Machines to Avoid

The following are several of the other exercise machines that you should avoid at the gym: 

  • Smith Machine Squats 
  • Roman Chair Back Extension Machine
  • Roman Chair Sit-Up 
  • Seated Shoulder Press Machine
  • Seated Lat Pull Down Machine
  • Seated Hip Abductor Machine
  • Seated Rotation Machine

There are a lot of things you’ll want to be aware of when working out in the gym. If you are new to exercising it is always recommended to have a professional help you. Pay the extra cost to have a physical trainer for the first while and develop various exercise routines that will work for your needs and abilities.

Exercising is important to your overall health; but when using exercise machines incorrectly it becomes more damaging then beneficial. Understand what you’re doing and how you’re doing it! 

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