12 gym machines worth using
It can be overwhelming when you step into a gym and are faced with an array of machines, some of which you don’t even know what to do with. Which ones will give you the results you want? Which ones won’t? How can you tell the difference? And shouldn’t you just bypass the lot and get into the coveted free weights section?
Gym machines can help you get where you want to be. They’re great for a supported workout – plus, unlike free weights, they often display instructions to help you check and perfect your form. You just have to know which machines to use.
We want you to get right down to your work out without wasting time, so let us save you some deliberating. Here’s our guide to the 12 gym machines that are actually worth using.
1. Leg press
The leg press can help you work your way towards standing weighted squats if you’re a beginner in the gym. Equally, even if you’re a seasoned squatter, the leg press can be optimal for building muscle. Since you’re seated and stable when you use it, you can increase the weight to a much higher degree than if you were squatting with free weights and focusing on keeping your balance.
2. Chest press
Want to load heavy weights? Not totally sure you’re bench pressing correctly? Like the leg press, the chest press can help you increase your weight load and keep your form. Great for building your pectoral muscles.
3. Shoulder press
Build yourself a strong set of shoulders, even as a beginner, with the shoulder press machine. As with the above resistance machines, the shoulder press lets you build your muscles with ever increasing weights while maintaining a stable form.
4. Assisted pull-up machine
Pull-ups from scratch can feel impossible. You’re not the only one. With assisted pull-ups, you get to have some of the hard work of lifting taken care of for you so you can really focus on building a solid pull-up foundation – and some strong upper body muscles.
5. Rowing machine
More than ‘just’ a cardio machine, the indoor rower is great for a low-impact workout which builds both endurance and upper-body muscle. Plus, it’s indoors. Not a drop of water or a rowing boat in sight.
6. Cable machine
The workout possibilities with a cable machine are practically endless. This versatile piece of equipment makes your workout streamlined and convenient by saving you the effort of setting up different machines. If you can work multiple muscle groups with one piece of equipment, why spend time on anything else?
One of the most effective machines to incorporate into your cardio workout, the stepmill lets you train in intervals, tackle hills without being outside, and experience less strain on your joints. Low on impact and high on results.
The treadmill is a staple in so many people’s workouts. It’s kinder on your joints than pounding pavements, you can programme the speed to whichever level you require, and you’ll definitely break out into a sweat.
9. Stationary bike
The in-built programmes on a stationary bike let you tailor your own training, adjusting everything from the speed to the incline, so you can really challenge yourself and feel the burn.
10. Fan bike
If you want to add some resistance to your cycling workout, hop on the fan bike. The great thing about this machine is that you get to decide how tough your workout is. The harder you push, the harder the bike pushes back.
11. Elliptical trainer
The elliptical trainer is much easier on your joints than practically any other cardio machine. It also encourages a full range of motion, providing a great all-over, cardio workout.
12. Smith machine
If you still feel like you need some assistance with weight-bearing exercise, such as squats and deadlifts, the Smith machine is great. Plus it can allow for a safer and more isolated workout, giving you the control that free weights don’t easily encourage.