Machine Mistakes

Good morning!

I am thoroughly looking forward to the weather for the rest of this week it’s cold again.  This is good news for you though because crappy weather means I get more “work” done.  I have a lot to do!

Upcoming posts this week:

  • Birthday Wish List
  • 21 Day Fix updates
  • Spring Cleaning
  • Dr. Bronner’s Review

In case you missed it yesterday, I have a birthday giveaway going on!

Fun stuff!

As you know, I started the 21 Day Fix, but will still add in some gym workouts.  The problem is, I am getting kinda bored there; I need another birthday gift for pullups, the YMCA is small, I don’t feel like doing a class, and I refuse to use machines.  Yep.  I said it.  I HATE machines and I am going to tell you why I prefer free weights to them any day.

Why Gym Machines Might Be Sabotaging Your Fitness Progress

WARNING! These are going to sound redundant, but approaching it from different angles will help you get the point.

1) You don’t have to stabilize.

Think about it.  When you learned to ride a bike with two wheels, was it harder or easier than when you started with  training wheels?  It’s much harder to have to balance on just two wheels!!

When you get on a machine, it moves in two dimensions: up/down, left/right, in/out.  There is no wobble, no leaning, no free movement.  For example: a chest press machine allows forward/backward movement only, which limits the ability to engage other assisting muscle groups.  However, if you were on the floor in plank, you have to work hard to keep your body in alignment and not completely fall over.  When you are required to balance and control your movements, you might not be able to lift as heavy, but like riding a bike without training wheels, you have to work harder!  More effort = more energy spent= more toned bod.

Instead of this…

source: bodybuilding.com

Try this…

source: womenshealthmag.com

2) You have crappy form due to unnatural movement.

Let’s look at squats on a machine; you are probably lying down or at least sitting while doing this exercise.  Who does squats in that position?  The last time I checked, I didn’t look like that when I had to squat to lift something.  By using a machine that isolates muscles in unnatural ways, our bodies don’t have to rely on good form to do the exercise.  Basically, you can keep pushing that foot plate no matter how your form is; good, bad or ugly.  Oppositely, if you were using a weighted bar to squat and your form wasn’t so pretty, your weights just might slide right off the bar! You have to be careful to keep the bar level and keep your form in check.  On a machine you can bet that isn’t happening.  Good form = healthier joints.

Instead of this…

source: Nutrishop

Try this…

source: Nick Tumminello

3) By isolating, you have to work a lot harder or longer to get the total body package.

Why not kill two birds with one stone?  A machine won’t allow this due to isolation.  Like I mentioned in #1, your body will be forced to engage multiple muscle groups when you balance.  When you incorporate compound exercises you get a total body burn!  For example: Pushups work delts, pecs and triceps all at once.  If you really focus and squeeze, they can also work your abs, glutes and quads!

Instead of this…

source: precor.com

Try this…

source: exercise.about.com

So does this have your head spinning?  There are so many workout combinations you can come up with if you just Google, use a Beachbody Program, work with a trainer or follow my Pinterest boards.  Start getting more bang for your buck!

Do you prefer free weights or machines?  Something else?

You Might Also Like

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien