Using Weight Machines Properly

The weight machines sold for home use and found in gyms seem self-explanatory, but there are plenty of ways to use machines incorrectly. Improper use may cause soreness or injury, or at the very least, shortchange you on the benefits you should get from using the machine. Here are some tips for using weight machines:

– If the exercise movement involves bending your legs, arms or waist, figure out where the pivot point of the machine is and align that with the joint you are bending. On many (but not all) machines the pivot point is marked with a colored dot. Example: if you’re doing arm curls, the joint you bend is your elbow. When you rest your arms on the machine’s pad, the pivot point should be lined up with your elbows. multihead weigher packing machine

– Most machines at a gym have a little instruction sign somewhere on them with a diagram showing the general motion for the exercise. If you buy a home exercise machine, it should come with a booklet demonstrating the various exercises possible.

– A great way to learn to use an unfamiliar machine is to inconspicuously watch someone who generally looks like they know what they are doing. It’s also OK to ask someone that’s using a machine how to adjust settings.

– Always take time to adjust the seat height, seatback and any other settings to make sure that you are in proper position for the exercise.

– If you join a health club, you may be offered a couple of sessions with a personal trainer. Use this free perk to have the trainer demonstrate and explain the machines that you would like to use.

– A common way to unconsciously cheat on machines is to shorten the range of motion. Pay attention to where you start and stop your motion, and make sure to carry through the full range of motion of the exercise.

– Don’t clank the weights down against the other weights every time you do a rep. Letting the weights hit each other is bad for the machine and it annoys your fellow man (or woman). It also demonstrates loudly that you don’t know what you’re doing.



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