Let’s be clear: Not all fitness equipment is created equal. There are some gym machines you should never use.
Exercise machines were invented to provide a safe alternative to free weights, but sometimes they’re anything but. As a matter of fact, they can put your body into unnatural positions and take your joints through dangerous ranges of motion. Over time, this can lead to muscle strain and even serious injuries.
So to make the most of your next sweat session, avoid these nine machines, and instead use the alternative exercises shown in each slide for safer, more effective training.
Gym Machines You Should Never Use and Their Safer Alternatives
1. Seated Twist Machine
These ab machines can create lower back problems because they rotate the area beyond a safe range of motion. Your lumbar spine can only twist 13 degrees—that’s less than one hour on a clock. Turning beyond that puts massive strain on your vertebrae, and, combined with the resistance of the machine, can quickly become more than your back can bear. Your lower back is actually designed to resist twisting, not generate it. To boost your rotational strength, pick core exercises that keep your spine stable and your core rigid.
Use these instead:
- Side plank (shown in the picture above)
- Pallof press
- Anti-rotational cable chop
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!