Thursday, May 16, 2013

Weight Machines at the Gym


Today's Workout: 3 miles running


It's no secret that I am a big fan of body weight workouts that you can do almost anywhere, but that doesn't mean you should avoid weight machines if you have access to them!

Next time you are at the gym, try out this workout!

Leg Press: To target your butt, position your feet higher on the plate and adjust the seat so you can bring your knees very close to your chest. For your quads, put your feet lower on the plate. Avoid going on your tiptoes unless you want to tone your calves. 3 x 15

Prone Hamstring Curl: This is better than the seated hamstring curl because it allows you to fully contract the muscle. 3 x 15

Cable Machine Standing Leg Lifts: This is an improvement on the seated inner/outer thigh machines because standing allows you to target the thigh, and the cable helps you work the right places. To work your outer thighs, set the pulley at the lowest level, then stand with your left side facing the machine and put the cuff around your right ankle. Hold onto the machine with you left hand and, keeping your right leg straight, bring your right foot directly out to the side as high as you can. To work inner thigh, with your left side to the machine, put the cuff around your left ankle and hold on to the machine for balance. Bring your left leg across to the right side so that the left foot is to the the outside of the right foot. 3 x 15 each leg inner thigh, 3 x 15 each leg outer thigh

Cable Machine Biceps Curl: The cable machine allows for multiple planes of motion and therefore uses more muscle fibers. Also, standing up while doing curls helps engage your core. Set the adjustable pulley on the machine so it's as close to the floor as possible and curl the bar up toward your chest. Do a full extension (lower the bar all the way down to your thighs), then a half extension (lower to your waist so elbows are at 90 degrees), and count that as one rep. 3 x 15

Cable Machine Overhead Triceps Extension: Set the pulley at the top. With your back to the machine and feet staggered, start with elbows bent 90 degrees by your ears, holding the bar behind your head. Pull to extend arms over head, keeping your elbows close to your ears throughout. 3 x 15

Lateral Raise Machine: Unlike the shoulder press, a lateral raise really targets the round part of your shoulder, which gives your upper arm a sculpted look. Raise your arms to shoulder level, parallel to the floor (don't go higher or you could injure your shoulder), then lower to your side right before the elbows touch the body. 3 x 15

Assisted Chin-Up Machine: The wider the grip, the more you'll work the top portion of your upper-back muscles (lats). A closer grip will hit more of the lower fibers near the bra band. 3 x 15

To rest muscles in-between sets, either alternate a leg exercise with an arm exercise, or hit the floor for 60 seconds of core (plank, crunches, bicycle twists, etc).

Photos and exercises by Fitness Magazine.

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