Common Gym Equipment Decoded: Part 2
We began this series by looking at some of the key players in the world of gym equipment. Equipment such as treadmills, rowing machines and spin bikes are all instantly recognisable and familiar to many.
However, your local Hussle gym is a real ensemble cast, containing a much wider range of fitness equipment.
So let’s have a look at some of them, learn more about what they do, how to get the best out of them and the benefits that doing so will deliver.
Here’s part 2 of your ultimate equipment guide
If you are looking to focus your gym session, freshen it up by trying new things or just broaden your knowledge, here is some more common gym equipment decoded just for you.
The Lat Pull Down Machine
In many ways the Lat Pull Down is the perfect antidote to something we all experience, gravity! It is the perfect piece of equipment for better posture, better breathing and feeling stronger.
The Lat Pull Down gets its name from the lat (lattisimus dorsi) muscle that it targets when used correctly.
You sit, facing the body the machine with the bar overhead. A pulley system connects that bar to the weights housed in the body of the machine.
It is important to select the weight you feel comfortable pulling; you’ll be pulling that weight down towards your chest before slowly extending your arms back up to their starting position.
Preparation and technique are important factors in effective lat pulldowns. Both to use the machine safely and target the lat muscle.
It is worth getting right for the following benefits:
· Lat Pulldowns promote excellent spinal stability and better posture
· It is a great piece of equipment for biceps, deltoids and healthy shoulders too!
The Leg Press
As their name implies; Leg Presses focus on the legs, targeting the quadriceps, hamstrings and going up to the glutes.
There are two main types of leg press you might come across in your local gym. One is the standard horizontal leg press and the other, a 45-degree variation.
Leg presses might look simple, but it is very important to learn how to use them safely to avoid injury.
The leg press machine is an important part of many people’s circuit workout and strengthening routines. The machine is used seated with the back and head resting comfortably against padded support.
Feet are placed firmly on the machine’s footplate, with heels flat about hip-width apart. Typically there are handles to ensure support and to keep your head and back in position.
To perform the leg press, simply push the platform where your feet are planted, away with heel and forefoot. This should always be done with slow control and never be afraid to start with a modest weight and advancing slowly as you build.
Never place more weight on your leg presses than you are comfortable with, form is far more important than the amount of weight you are lifting.
Give The Leg Press a go!
· The leg press is a perfect way to enjoy the benefits of a barbell squat for your quads, as well as developing or toning your buttocks, hamstrings and calves
The Smith Machine
The Smith Machine is one for the weight trainers, consisting of a barbell, fixed within rails that allow for vertical movement and a self-spotting form of weight lifting.
Some smith machines have a counterbalance on the barbell and they can be used for a wide variety of lifts, although the smith machine squat tends to be the most popular.
While some say that Smith Machines limit the use of stabilising muscles compared to lifting free weights, for casual or novice weight lifters, the Smith Machine is always a popular choice.
If squatting with the Smith Machine, it is important to set the locking mechanisms located on each side. Setting these at the right height will allow you to safely stop if you are unable to return to the upright position mid-squat.
Many people new to Smith Machines tend to place the bar on the back of the neck. However resting the bar on top of, or slightly behind your shoulders is a great beginner’s tip.
The Smith Machine might be ideal because:
· The Smith Machine is perfect for anyone new to fitness and lifting weights
· It will also allow you to confidently lift heavier weights compared to the free rack, although it is important to build weights slowly
The Cable Machine
While the mighty cable machine often comes in a range of shapes and sizes, they all fulfil more or less the same role.
They work much the same as any other machine built to improve strength, by providing resistance!
That resistance comes from adjustable cable pulleys found on its rectangular, vertical steel frame. Typically the weight stacks can be found at either end and are adjusted as required.
Other aspects of the machine are adjustable too, such as the pads to suit your range of motion.
Once tailored to your needs and fitness goals, the Cable Machine is versatile. You can do a few drills for example, or an entire full-body session. Cable presses, cable crunches, cable crossovers, rows, curls and pull downs are all waiting to be learnt.
What’s great about The Cable Machine?
· One of the most versatile machines in your local Hussle gym, the Cable Machine can be used to target specific muscle groups or an entire full body workout
· They deliver constant tension through every stage of weight lifting and lowering, that means greater muscle fatigue and ultimately; greater gains in strength
The Abductor machine is a well known and familiar machine in your local Hussle gym, getting to know it and using it correctly can carry a range of benefits. They include better core stability, better coordinated movement, general flexibility and more.
Just like the name suggests, the Abductor Machine exercises the abductor muscles of the hips, including the gluteus maximus, minimus and others, for tighter, more toned muscles.
Using the abductor involves pushing the legs apart against resistance, as opposed to the adductor which brings the legs together. Both variations also help to rotate the leg at the hip joint and often there are dual models which can do both.
The Leg Abductor is typically used in a seated position with straightened back and hands gripping the handles each side.
Why should you try The Leg Abductor?
· Leg Abductors help to strengthen a muscle group we use continuously every day; they can have a real impact
· If you are looking for a firm, toned bottom, it is the ideal machine to use
What do you think about our gym fitness tips?
Now you’ve been introduced to many of the most popular, why not try some of the equipment above, for yourself as part of Hussle’s One Network. Thousands of Gyms, and Zero Contracts!
All the machines in our equipment 101 can be found in your local Hussle gym, just waiting for you, why not try them out with zero contract!