One of the biggest perks about a gym membership is access to all that equipment, making working out much easier. The machines especially give us an accessible way to work out different muscle groups without overthinking about it.
Don’t get it wrong, free weights are fantastic. They’re versatile and let you do hundreds of different functional exercises. The free weights should be at the heart of your gym routine, as they allow for movements that train different joints and engage more muscles, helping you to develop well-rounded full-body strength and fitness.
But, when you’re looking to target a particular muscle and really build your strength and endurance in it, the machines are a huge help.
When it comes to arm machines, there’s plenty of choice. Target the biceps, triceps, and other upper body muscles with these efficient bits of equipment. Here’s a list of our favourites.
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The assisted pull up machine: biceps and lats
The pull up is probably one of the most effective upper body exercises. It targets the latissimus dorsi muscle group in the back and the biceps in the arms. But it also engages the deltoids in the shoulders, rhomboids in the back, and the core.
The trouble is, achieving a pull up is hugely challenging for most people. The assisted pull up machine lets you build up to the whole thing, developing strength in the back and arms.
The Bicep Curl Machine: Biceps
The bicep curl or preacher curl machine helps you emulate the bicep curl movement, which, you guessed it, works the bicep muscles on the front of the upper arm. It also engages the muscles in your forearm.
The Seated Dip Machine: Triceps
The seated dip mimics the tricep dip that you would use your body weight for. Using the machine helps you get the range of movement right and effectively target the triceps at the back of the upper arm. This exercise also engages the muscles in the chest and shoulders.
Shoulder Press: Shoulders
You might argue that the shoulders don’t really count as part of the arm, but your deltoids are one of the largest muscles in the upper body, and strength here will help you do more in loads of other exercises.
The primary muscles involved in the seated shoulder press are your deltoids at the top of your shoulders, as well as your triceps, and trapezius muscles located in your upper back.
The Cables: Everything
There’s one machine left that we want to talk about. It’s the big scary looking one with multiple sections, handles, and weights attached to it. The cable machine, pulleys, cable crossover machine, multi-cable machine. Whatever you call it, it’s arguably the most versatile piece of equipment on the gym floor.
The variety of handle types and locations mean that you can do a huge range of exercises at this station. It’s easy to do an entire upper body session without leaving the cables. It might take a little bit more planning of what you’re going to do., but once you’ve got a routine in mind, it can make your workout much more efficient.