From Muscle Sport Magazine
Strength training offers so many benefits, from improving your appearance to reducing your risk of certain health issues. A lot of bodybuilders and people who are new to strength training will opt for either machines or free weights, but incorporating both into your workout routine can be the best way to reap the benefits. Some machines are best left alone, as free weights will be better, but in many cases, using machines can complement your workout routine well.
Exercise machines work different muscles
Using free weights has plenty of benefits, such as using a full range of motion and providing functional exercises. Strength training machines allow you to isolate which muscles you want to work on, and you can focus entirely on the weight lifted, rather than the movement involved too, reducing the risk of injury. This can help you to work on certain muscles or body parts that you want to improve and can give quicker results. You may also find that you can train certain muscles with machines that would be difficult to do otherwise.
Don’t underestimate cardio
A lot of bodybuilders in the gym will avoid the cardio machines, focusing on their main goal of building and defining muscle. While having more muscle will lead to a higher metabolism and help to burn fat, cardio can still help you to further lose fat, which will reveal your muscles and show their definition better, but it will also help your cardiovascular system to improve your health and use muscles that you may not train otherwise. Finding out more info about the benefits of elliptical trainers, treadmills, and other cardio machines can help you to start incorporating them into your workout regime and reap the benefits.
Strength training machines that are best avoided
There’s a machine for every body part and muscle, but there are some that are ineffective, particular for bodybuilders. Smith Machine squats isolate movement to just a few key leg muscles, which places stress on your knees. Squatting using your body weight or free weights gives your entire lower body and core a great workout, making them a better option. Abduction and adduction machines work these very specific muscles and very little else, so you’re better off doing squats or lunges to work on all of your leg muscles at once. Abdominal crunch machines have the opposite problem, in that they don’t isolate your abdominals enough, and you’re likely to use your arms, shoulders and legs to assist with your movement. Stick to exercises that are done in a variety of ranges of motion, such as pushups, hanging leg raises, and a standard crunch with rotation.
Good machines for bodybuilders
Some machines will be seen in every gym, and for a good reason. They work. Bodybuilders should consider using a leg press alongside doing squats and deadlifts. The leg press allows you to safely and effectively train your legs while keeping your spine stable throughout. This means you can often push high weights, work through injuries, and quickly work up to bigger numbers on the free weights. For an upper body workout, a pull-up and dip assisting machine is ideal. Many people often get stuck on a certain amount of reps for months, so this machine can help you to keep going until you can do more without assistance. Doing more reps with assistance helps to pump more blood into your muscles, burn more calories, and improve your strength.
Using exercise machines – both strength and cardio – alongside free weights will enhance your workouts by ensuring you work all muscles and helping you to lose fat so you can see your muscles better, as well as improving your health.