How to Use Gym Machines Properly
With the revenue of the gym, health, and fitness industry in the United States alone coming in at a whopping $36.6 billion, it's clear that people are buying and using equipment more than ever. The industry is set to keep increasing by almost 4 percent in just the year 2022.
The question is, "Do people know how to use gym equipment properly?" Many people find used gym equipment for sale and buy it having no clue what they're doing. It can be extremely dangerous to utilize gym machines without using the right techniques or understanding which parts of the body are being worked.
That's why we've collected some of the most common gym equipment, whether you have a home gym setup or have a membership somewhere else. Follow along to find out the gym equipment names and how to use them!
Gym Equipment Names
Aside from machines that you probably already know the names of, such as treadmills and ellipticals, the types of workout equipment listed below are ones that you will find in most home and commercial gyms. They are the following:
- Rowing Machine
- Lat Pull Down
- Leg Press
- Cable Machines
How to Use Gym Equipment to Train
Not only is it important to know how you should be working out with machines, but it's also crucial to understand the different types of exercise you are getting from them. Many of these are weight machines used for strength training, while a few of them are used for cardio.
Cardiovascular training is a type of aerobic exercise that focuses on increasing your breathing and heart rate. It burns calories and builds endurance.
Strength, or weight, training concentrates on a certain muscle group at a time. Muscle fibers are broken down so that your body can build them back up stronger.
Both of these types of training will help you lose fat and burn calories on their own. However, if you incorporate both of them into a weekly workout schedule, you will have the best results as you won't hit a plateau.
Now that we've covered how the different types of training are accomplished, let's break down which machines do what. The following are cardio machines:
You may think you already know how to use these machines. However, did you know that there's more to just turning a treadmill on and setting it to one speed?
High-intensity interval training has become a popular workout for good reason. You can also perform this workout on the treadmill!
With no incline added, warm up for about five minutes at a low speed. Then rotate thirty-second intervals of running at a speed of 10 mph with sixty-second intervals of walking at 5 mph. This will help you burn calories and metabolize fat.
Elliptical machines are a great cardio fitness that burns a substantial amount of calories without adding stress to your joints like other cardio exercises. They also help train muscles in your upper and lower body.
Focus on your hands, feet, and posture. Your hands should be at or below your shoulders with a firm grip. You need to maintain an upright posture for the entirety of your workout, and your feet should be completely in contact with the pedals.
If you're gripping too high, your shoulders could elevate and strain your neck and shoulders. By standing upright and engaging your core, you're lowering the chance of low back pain. Your ankles and knees will be fully engaged if you keep your feet flat on the pedals.
Rowing is a full-body cardiovascular workout. It strengthens and conditions almost all of your major muscle groups!
It's best to think of what not to do on a rowing machine as you will naturally want to make some of these common mistakes. Here are some of the don'ts:
- Don't hunch your back
- Don't bend your knees before you fully extend your arms
- Don't raise your arms above your chest
- Don't let your legs flop to the sides on your pulls
- Don't grab the oar too tightly
The rest of the machines on the list are weight machines that target different muscle groups in the body. You will use many of them in just one training session.
Lat Pull Down
Keeping your feet flat on the floor, adjust the bar until you can reach it without standing up. However, you should also be able to fully extend your arms.
The standard position calls for you to have a wide, overhand grip on the bar. This is where you should start for a basic exercise.
Try to keep your posture upright and keep your torso from leaning backward as you pull the bar down to your chin. Engage your core as you pull and stop when your elbows can't move down any further.
Squeeze your shoulders tightly together and bring the bar back up to resting position so that the weights don't crash. Repeat eight to ten times.
Start by choosing a weight you can lift safely and increase if needed. Your back and head should be flat against the seat with your feet shoulder-width apart in the center of the platform.
Tighten your core as you press until your legs are extended without being locked. This should be an even press with your feet flat on the platform. Don't rush through the process as you let the platform come back to its beginning position.
You can hit many of the major muscle groups with a cable machine. One of the main exercises is the cable chest fly.
With a cable handle in each hand coming down from slightly above your shoulders, step forward with one foot and stretch your arms to the sides. Bend your elbows and bring the handles to meet in the middle by using your chest muscles.
Wait for a few seconds there in the middle before you slowly return to your starting position. Do a few sets repeating this about ten times.
Have a Great Workout
Hopefully, you've learned some of the basics of how to use gym equipment to your benefit. Create your workout equipment budget, buy your gear, and get started with a routine to keep you healthy and fit.
We have some of the best gym equipment brands available and ready for you now. Check out some of our cardio equipment!