Utilising a machine to work out might sound like a good idea, but some of is best to avoid. Check out this list of 8 gym machines you should stop using.
If you believe that any machine inside a gym is safe and effective to use, think again. Some of them can do more harm than good and, unfortunately, a couple of them are really common among gym-goers. Max Posternak talked about some gym machines you should stop using.
Max Posternak is the founder of Gravity Transformation, a website focused on giving tips and training guidance for people looking to improve their fitness and lose weight. His YouTube channel has over 4.8 million subscribers.
Having a gym full of machines might be a good selling point for new members, but basic dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells are typically more effective than the complex machines you see at a regular gym.
Gym Machines You Should Stop Using
In the list below, Posternak says these machines you should perhaps avoid or, at least, change the way you use them.
1. Smith Machine
This machine is great for a couple of exercises, but some people use it as an alternative to exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses which are intended to be done with a regular barbell.
Due to the machine being locked in position, people tend to think it helps prevent injuries when performing the exercises mentioned above.
- For bench presses – it is bad for your shoulders
- For squats – it isn’t biomechanically natural as most people lean back against the bar
2. Hip Abduction and Adduction Machine
These machines are typically used to train the glutes and the inner thighs, but other alternatives are more effective such as squats and lunges.
“One immediate issue is that naturally, your body would never lift heavy loads this way in real life,” Posternak explains. Utilising these machines will overwork your TFL muscle and pull another muscle known as the IT band which leads to knee pain.
It also can contribute to lower back pain and it will not reduce your fat from the inner thighs.
3. Leg Press Machine
This doesn’t have to be on the list of gym machines you should stop using. What you need to do is change the way you use it, especially if you have lower back issues.
“When doing leg presses your lower back is pinned against the pad in a way where it becomes more and more difficult to maintain the natural lumbar curve as your knees bend and come closer to your chest.”
If you still want to use the leg press machine, choose to do it at the end of a leg workout and with one leg at a time, with the other leg staying down during the movement to maintain a neutral lumbar spine.
Read More: 7 Leg Press Mistakes and How to Fix Them
4. Torso Rotation Machine / Seated Twist Machine
If you want to avoid injuries to your spine, Posternak suggests staying away from this machine. If you do use it, limit the range of motion and use a lighter weight.
5. Lat Pulldown Behind the Head
There are no additional muscle-building benefits of doing this exercise behind the head. In fact, by pulling behind the head, you will have to lighten the weight load because your back and shoulders are weaker in that position.
You may also damage your rotator cuff by pulling or pressing behind the head.
6. Seated Crunch Machine
Another on the list of gym machines you should avoid is the seated crunch machine. It will definitely target your ab, but this one is simply not as effective as other exercises such as reverse crunches, stability ball crunches and decline sit-ups.
7. Selectoriser Chest Press / Shoulder Press Machines
These are older machines that do not allow you to do unilateral training. You would have to press both handles at the same time.
“Also, the path of these old machines is very different and bad for your joints,” Posternak says. These old machines will make you move weights in a straight line and will irritate and likely injure your shoulders.
8. Butt Blaster Machine
Mostly used by women, this machine does not target your glutes effectively. When using this machine, most people will likely target their hamstrings instead of their butt.
You will get better glutes by doing barbell squats and dumbbell lunges.
Any questions on which gym machines you should stop using? Check out Posternak’s video below.