Although many of the machines at the gym can seem daunting to a novice—especially the newer models which may resemble medieval torture devices—there’s no need to fret.
Despite their great variety, only a handful of the machines at the gym are required for the ultimate caveman body. Using the ones that work different muscle groups will ensure your cross training program is optimized.
Here are seven you will want to become familiar with:
Treadmill – No exercise comes more naturally to human than walking, so no matter what other cardio exercise you do, make some time for the treadmill. It is a versatile workout machine that provides the user with a walking, jogging or running workout. If weight loss is your goal, the treadmill gives you the opportunity to burn a lot more calories than any other cardio machine.
Triceps Extension – Besides push-ups, it’s almost impossible to do exercises without equipment that target this area. On a triceps extension, you’re placed in a seated position and set your upper arm on a pad. After choosing your resistance level, a back and forth motion must be completed to work the muscle.
Smith Machine – This piece of equipment was designed by famed fitness guru Jack LaLanne in the 1950s. It allows you to perform a variety of moves to work the upper body and lower body. Squats can be done with the machine to target glutes and hamstrings while the weighted bar focuses on the muscles in the upper body.
Isolateral Lateral Raise Machine – This machine removes the requirement to exercise with free weights. The padding keeps your shoulders comfortable as you lift and lower your arms to target the muscles in the arms, chest and shoulders.
Lower Back Extensions – The lower back is often neglected during a workout program. Although it may not improve your physical appearance, working the lower back helps reduce your chance of developing lower back pain later in life. Lower back work is also essential for core strength.
Stationary Bicycle – Do you suffer from lower back pain or joint problems? If so, your best bet for cardio is the stationery bike, especially one with a recumbent seat. It will provide support for your back while also decreasing the amount of stress on your joints.
Shoulder Rotator Machine – Here’s another commonly ignored part of the body in exercise routines: the shoulder rotator muscles. The importance of including this machine is that many sports injuries involve the rotator cuff. They can be avoided by working out the muscles with this specialized piece of equipment.
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