Machines at the gym can be intimidating. This may be why you see more women on treadmills and elliptical machines than strength training machines. There are a lot of different machines in the gym, but the three machines mentioned below have been found to be the most helpful for women because they serve multiple purposes and won’t make you look crazy in the process.
Machine 1 – Smith Machine
Basic Move: Squats
Targets: Chest, biceps, and legs
The Benefits: The alignment of the machine—the bar is attached to a vertical sliding track which can allow for guided natural, arched movements if exercise is performed properly. Having the Smith Machine control your movements, keeps you balanced, and an excellent way to make sure you maintain your form. Just be careful because if the machine is not used properly, it can put stress on the knees, shoulders, and lower back.
Machine 2 – Cable Tower
Basic move: Biceps Curl
The Benefits: If there’s one machine you should use at the gym…this is it! That’s because the cable tower — which features several weight stacks, adjustable cables, and a whole bunch of attachments — offers dozens of exercises to target all of your major muscle groups. This machine is so versatile that you can go from bicep curls to working your abs in a matter of seconds. If you’re looking for a total body workout, definitely try this machine on your next visit to the gym.
Machine 3 – Assisted Pull-up
Basic Move: Pull Ups
Targets: Arms, Lower Abs, and Shoulder Blades
The Benefits: The weight stack counters your body weight, so you can adjust the number of pounds you load, as you get stronger. The machine, like the cable tower, is extremely versatile and helps you build upper body strength. Since you are assisted with this exercise, you have little risk of overexerting yourself.
As always, be sure to follow the instructions and only add weights as it feels comfortable to you.
Try these three exercise machines and be sure to tell me if you feel like you’re getting more out of your time at the gym!