Sure exercise machines seem like a good way to quickly build muscle and jumpstart your fitness routine, but if you’re not researching every detail about how each exercise machine works which muscle you could end up seriously injuring yourself, and injury is one of the biggest reasons that people give up on exercising. Plus, not everyone has the time to go to the gym for hours long workouts.
So, here is a list of exercise machines to avoid and why the Sacramento boot camp wants you to consider joining a boot camp for all of your fitness needs.
1. Seated Leg Extension – This machine is supposed to train your quadriceps, but what is actually happening is that the machine ends up strengthening a motion that your legs aren’t even designed to do, which can put a strain on the ligaments and tendons surrounding your kneecaps.
Try This Boot Camp Exercise Instead – Boot camps are great because they don’t involve any heavy gym equipment and instead focus on bodyweight exercises like the one-legged squat, which replaces the seated leg extension machine by strengthening your leg muscles and core at the same time. Not everyone can perform a one-legged squat, but by joining a boot camp you’ll be able to build the stamina you need to start doing them.
2. Seated Shoulder Press – It’s hard to properly align your body when you’re in the sitting position, so that’s one reason why you should avoid the seated shoulder press. Another, and more important, reason is that overhead pressing can sometimes put your shoulder joints in a vulnerable biochemical position, putting undue stress on your shoulders. That unnatural movement doesn’t allow you to use your hips to assist your shoulders, which is a more natural way to push something overhead.
Try This Boot Camp Exercise Instead – Medicine Ball Slams. In addition to bodyweight exercises, the boot camp in Sacramento incorporates medicine balls for strength training and increasing balance and power. To do a medicine ball slam, start by grabbing your medicine ball and holding it above your head, then set your feet shoulder-width apart. Reach as far up as you can, then slam the ball into the floor in front of you.
3. Seated Behind the Neck Lat Pull-Down – You might be noticing a theme by now, so hopefully you won’t forget how unnecessary seated machines really are. This machine is difficult to do correctly and unless you have really flexible shoulders, you should avoid this one completely because it can cause pinching in the shoulder joints and damage your rotator cuff. Ouch.
Try This Boot Camp Exercise Instead – TRX Pull-Ups. Boot camps are big on suspension training and using fun equipment like the TRX for a full upper body workout. Using a TRX for pull-ups is effective because they can be modified to accommodate anyone’s fitness level. To do a beginner TRX pull-up, stand with one foot in front of the other and hold onto the TRX handles with your hands over your head and your arms straight. Lean slightly backwards and then bend your arms while pointing your elbows out to the sides to pull your body up towards your hands.
4. Seated Hip Abductor – This machine is supposedly the best way to work your outer thighs, including your glutes, but because you’re seated it trains a movement that has no functional use, and if performed with heavy enough weights and a jerky technique, it can place unnecessary pressure on your spine.
Try This Boot Camp Exercise Instead – You can still work those same muscles, but you’ll need to be standing. Resistance bands are another awesome tool that most boot camps like to use in their workouts and one way you can use them is to loop a band around both legs, and then position the resistance band just below your knees. Take small steps to your right for 20 feet, then side-step back to your left for 20 feet. That’s one whole rep. It’s actually a lot harder than it sounds, but is still more beneficial to your body than a seated hip abductor.
So, the big takeaway here is that seated exercises aren’t all that great for your body. The better alternative to those machines are just simple exercises that require little to no equipment and anyone can do them, which is great because not everyone has the time to go to a gym and workout for hours on end. Remember that by joining a boot camp you’ll learn fun bodyweight exercises that are designed to trim and tone your body while building stamina and muscle growth. Before you hit the gym, hit up a boot camp… you’ll save yourself a lot of unwanted stress and misery.
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