Not sure which to use? No worries, we've got it covered!
All machines have pros and cons; the key is to find the ones which build strength while helping train your body to use the correct muscles. Here are 5 of the best machines, according to experts:
This is a great machine to help you work towards doing pull ups. You will work your back muscles and shoulder girdle.
Start with an underhand grasp (palms facing you) which recruits your biceps more. Bring your hands closer to make the move easier, wider apart for more intensity.
Bring your chest to the bar keeping your elbows pointing down. Lower the bar to your chin or just below, then rise back up.
This is a great machine that’s simple to use and builds strength in your hip flexors and abs.
Hang from the bar and grip the handholds.
Squeeze the abs to lift the legs and knees towards your chest until they make a 90 degree angle. Lower slowly back to starting position.
If you want to improve your push ups, this is the machine for you. Building up chest, biceps and triceps muscles helps in more compound movements you can move on to.
Grip the handles near your chest.
Exhale, and push the handles forward until your elbows are fully extended but not locked.
Inhale and gently return your arms almost (but not quite) to starting position.
This works your upper and lower body while boosting your cardio. If you sit at computers a lot, the rowing machine also helps rebalance your posture.
Start with knees bent, back straight and arms stretched forward. Grab the handle with an overhand grip.
Push back with your legs while leaning back, then pull the handle towards your upper abs.
Return by extending your arms out as your torso follows, keeping a firm core throughout. Bend your knees to return to starting position.
If you only use one lower-body machine, this is it. Done properly, you build strength to do some fine squats off machine.
Place your legs on the platform with feet shoulder-width apart. Your back and head should be against the padded support. Keep heels flat on the footplate and knees in line with your feet.
Engage your abs and push the plate by extending your legs fully, but don’t lock your knees.
Return to starting position by slowly bending the knees.
In my opinion, the rowing machine is one of the best all-rounder machines, And always felt it was good for my back because my work involves me sitting down most of the day.
I was advised to use the leg press to strengthen my quads when I kept getting pain in my knees and thighs. Amazingly, it helped. So I do think machines can help to isolate particular muscles to help you recover from injuries.
I do see some shockers on gym machines - fortunately the staff at my gym are very good at tactfully straightening out the confused. This kind of 'beginners guide' is very helpful.
I used the chest press when I want to improve my press ups (I could only do about 5!) Now I can do 20 press ups, still not amazing I know, but I know the chest press helped me.