Fitness machines 101

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Going to the gym for the first time can be a bit daunting. What do you use all of the equipment for? What machine is best for achieving what effect? It all depends on what you want to achieve… but we’re here to lend you a helping hand.

Gym equipment is not only for experienced sportspeople. In fact, as a beginner, it may be better to use the equipment rather than free weights, for example. Given that you probably don’t have full strength, balance and freedom of movement yet, gym equipment is a safer option before moving on to free weights or exercises that utilise your own body weight.

But what fitness equipment is used for what?

Using the following gym equipment you can train your body to use the right muscles and to build up strength.

1. Horizontal Seated Leg Press

What are you training? Buttock muscles (glutes), hamstrings and calves

This equipment trains your lower body so that you have a strong foundation for moving on to squats.

2. Lat Pull-Down

What are you training? Shoulder girdle

This allows you to train and develop your back muscles. You can make this movement more challenging by spreading out your hands or bringing them closer together. This is a good exercise to help you prepare for pull-ups.

3. Cable Biceps Bar

What are you training? Biceps

To get the most out of this exercise, try adjusting the weight. Using this fitness equipment means you don’t have to swing free weights around.

4. Cable Triceps Bar (or Triceps Pushdown)

What are you training? Triceps

You can also change the amount of weight you’re lifting on this machine. Developing strong triceps is very important for push-ups, pull-ups and for maintaining balanced strength in your arms.

5. Bench Presses

What are you training? Chest, biceps, triceps

This exercise simulates the movement of push-ups. If you’re just beginning to work out, strengthening your chest, biceps and even your triceps is useful for performing compound movements later on.

6. Rowing Machine (cardio)

What are you training? Entire body, endurance

The rowing machine works both your lower and upper body, so it impacts your overall condition. So, all-in-one exercise!

As a general rule: Start by working large muscle groups and then finish your training session with smaller workouts. For example, tone the large muscles in your back with the lat pull-down, the horizontal seated leg press and the cable triceps bar, then finish with bench presses and biceps.

Which machine should you begin with? Visit the Basic-Fit app for great training plans!

Source: Fitness machines 101

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