Not everyone is familiar with gyms, running machines, free weights and the like, so we thought it would be helpful to put together a basic guide of the machines you can find in most gyms, the benefits gained from them and a beginners guide to each piece of equipment. You can find plenty of free weights guides by clicking here and using the links in the training article but his post is about gym machines. We’ll start by listing each piece of commonly used machinery and a give a brief outline of it’s use before elaborating on each in the related article. These machines are single use only – we’ll discuss multi-use machines and aerobic exercises elsewhere on the site.
It’s a piece of machinery dedicated to exercising the user’s pectoral muscles while remaining in a seated position. It’s the equivalent of performing bench presses with free weights.
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Pec Dec Machine
The Pec Dec machine also focuses on the chest muscles, specifically the pectorals and should not be confused with a Chest Press machine. This exercise is the equivalent of a fly exercise with free weights. The user sits to perform this exercise; some machines have handles to grip while others have pads on which to rest the forearms.
A great piece of machinery for performing bicep curls although it more be more suited for experienced users. Even on the lowest weight settings it can be a tough workout due to the isolation of the muscles involved. It’s also known as a Preacher Bench.
A shoulder press machine looks not unlike the chest press machine but a closer look will reveal that the hand grips are horizontal and begin at shoulder level, being pushed upwards in a vertical motion. Excellent for beginners as the weights can be very low to begin with. It’s the equivalent of a free weights shoulder press.
The leg press machine is ideal for those looking to for an all-round leg strengthening exercise. The most common variant will have the user with his or her back supported on a flat service while the legs take the weight. Most people can lift significant amounts on the leg press.
A seated leg exercise in which the user hooks the feet under the pads and bends the legs from the knee, lifting so the leg is almost straight to the hip. Excellent for the quadriceps.
A machine which some beginners can find uncomfortable; the user starts in a seated position and places their legs either side of the weighted pads. The user then brings the legs together and releases, exercising the inner thighs and outer thighs.
The user lies on their front on this machine with the back of the ankles underneath the pads. They can then lift the weight by bending the knee towards the buttocks. This is a great exercise for the hamstrings and to a lesser extent the calf muscles.