What’s going on band?! Hope you all have been happy, healthy and better than you were yesterday. I was training a client this past week and this is the conversation that ensued during their rest period:
Me: Alright, 25 seconds till your next set begins.
Client: SIGHHHHHHH…. -_- pshhhh huff! OK.
Client: Quick Question, why don’t we ever use that machine *points to leg extension*
Me: GASPPPPP — REST PERIOD EXTENDED! *I had to explain to them the reason why*
…and so it lead me to extend this awareness to the rest of the band, here are 5 gym machines I’d advise you to stay away from! (no particular order)
#5 The Smith Machine
Unfortunately every gym has one. The machine with the barbell attached to it to make it “safe” for you to do squats and bench presses etc, ALLEGEDLY.
3 Cons with this machine:
A. You don’t work your smaller stabilizer muscles when using a fixed/attached bar. In other words you are not maximizing your strength and subsequently you are having a less effective workout.
B. Since you are not training these smaller stabilizer muscles you have now INCREASED your risk of injury outside of the gym. Doing anything physical will require those untrained muscles to work and that can mean trouble.
C. This machine teaches you poor form. No movement is strictly up and down (bench press) or if you’re squatting your feet should not be in front of you with an upright back. Functional/Effective movement is free in nature, this machine fails to adhere to that.
#BeTheBetter – Use the regular Squat rack (where the bar is not attached) or Dumbbells/Free weights.
#4 Hip Adductor/Abductor Machine
The machine that works your inner thighs and outer thighs, ALLEGEDLY.
Guess what? It doesn’t work. In actuality you’re using interior hip rotators MORE THAN anything else (that’s that burn you feel) and we can’t see those muscles in the mirror.
#BeTheBetter – Do some Squats (and other variations of squats i.e. Sumo Squats) and you’ll hit those “mirror muscles” AND those important interior muscles as well.
#3 The ever famous…LEG EXTENSION MACHINE!
^^^^^ WTheeH is he smiling about?
OK OK OK. I know you feel it in your Quads and a lot of bodybuilders use them. But weighing the pros vs cons scale, it is HEAVY on the CONS side.
Unless you are rehabbing a knee injury, have been on bed rest/not using ANY weight. I have two words for you: stay off.
A. Every time you lift you stretch your ACL. You heard it before, the ligament that retires/sidelines pro athletes when torn (shout out to D.Rose). The ACL is a vital ligament for your knee and guess what? IT DOES NOT like to be stretched!
B. Loading and moving ONLY from your knee joint puts extreme pressure on the back of your patella (kneecap) at its thinnest areas. You know what this can lead to? Follow the arrow ——->——>—–>———>——>——-> CRACK!
C. Were the first 2 not enough?!
#2 The AB Crunch Machine
They come in all different colors, sizes, styles and pretty names AND INFOMERCIALS! NOOOO!!!!!
Every time I see someone adding load to their spine to do a crunch or doing a crunch on a machine in general I cringe. Why? Because I know one day someone is going to have to rehab that individuals back.
Seriously, It puts enormous amounts of BAD pressure and flexing on your spine which yields nothing but trouble!
#BeTheBetter – do your cardio, planks and other SAFE ab movements to get those desired abs.
Last but not least is…
#1 The AB TWIST MACHINE!
*SMACKS FOREHEAD AND SHAKES HEAD*
^^^ Say a prayer for his Spine.
Take a second and look at this movement. Your upper body going in two different directions while your lower body stays put/fixed. Remember we know movement is suppose to be free NOT fixed!
Honestly, it looks like a machine Jigsaw would use from the SAW movie series. Your spine is screaming folks! GET OFF this machine!
Does it help give you your six pack abs? NO. Ice pack for your back? YES. Maybe even a brace, possibly a herniation!
OK! There you have it now don’t let me catch any of you on one of those machines or else…actually… I won’t have to do anything you’re already hurting yourself. Till next time band…#BeTheBetter!
-Mr. Be The Better
Before I run (no pun), here’s a gift that will keep on giving from me to you:
They say It takes about 21 days to create a pattern and eventually a habit. So let’s start making (and breaking) some! Every month I’ll assign a different challenge for you to participate in for 21 days! You’re not telling yourself you will do this habit forever, but instead tell yourself you are doing this habit for the next 21 days! We’ll call it #BetterHabits
Everyday for the next 21 days I want you to eat AT LEAST 5-7 servings of Fruits and/or Vegetables. If you have trouble with what a serving is ask me or Google it. Tweet, Instagram, FaceBook comment with your progress,pics and updates! Be sure to include #BetterHabits or #BeTheBetter in your posts!