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Old 04-10-2011, 11:27 PM  
Frankie Frankie is offline
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Exercise junkies beware.

Healthy Living Sunday, April 10, 2011

The 6 exercise machines you must avoid

Walking into the gym and expecting a great workout is like walking into the supermarket and expecting a gourmet meal. The basic ingredients are there, but like they say in the infomercials, results may vary. With working out, as with cooking, a little bit of smarts, dedication, creativity and knowledge will make all the difference between perfect pasta and a gelatinous ball of mush.

For this list of no-no exercises, we consulted Stuart McGill, PhD, professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario; Nicholas DiNubile, MD, author of FrameWork: Your 7-Step Program for Healthy Muscles, Bones, and Joints; and trainer Vern Gambetta, author of Athletic Development: The Art & Science of Functional Sports Conditioning.


http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/healt...avoid-2470714/


1. Seated Leg Extension



What it's supposed to do: Train the quadriceps. What it actually does: It strengthens a motion your legs aren't actually designed to do, and can put undue strain on the ligaments and tendons surrounding the kneecaps.

A better exercise: One-legged body-weight squats. Lift one leg up and bend the opposite knee, dipping as far as you can, with control, while flexing at the hip, knee, and ankle. Use a rail for support until you develop requisite leg strength and balance. Aim for five to 10 reps on each leg. (If you are susceptible to knee pain, do the Bulgarian split squat instead, resting the top of one foot on a bench positioned two to three feet behind you. Descend until your thigh is parallel to the ground and then stand back up. Do five to 10 reps per leg.)


2. Seated Lat Pull-Down (Behind the Neck)



What it's supposed to do: Train lats, upper back, and biceps. What it actually does: Unless you have very flexible shoulders, it's difficult to do correctly, so it can cause pinching in the shoulder joint and damage the rotator cuff.

A better exercise: Incline pull-ups. Place a bar in the squat rack at waist height, grab the bar with both hands, and hang from the bar with your feet stretched out in front of you. Keep your torso stiff, and pull your chest to the bar 10 to 15 times. To make it harder, lower the bar; to make it easier, raise the bar.


3. Seated Hip Abductor Machine



What it's supposed to do: Train outer thighs. What it actually does: Because you are seated, it trains a movement that has no functional use. If done with excessive weight and jerky technique, it can put undue pressure on the spine.

A better exercise: Place a heavy, short, looped resistance band around your legs (at your ankles); sidestep out 20 paces and back with control. This is much harder than it sounds.


4. Seated Leg Press



What it's supposed to do: Train quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. What it actually does: It often forces the spine to flex without engaging any of the necessary stabilization muscles of the hips, glutes, shoulders, and lower back.

A better exercise: Body-weight squats. Focus on descending with control as far as you can without rounding your lower back. Aim for 15 to 20 for a set and increase sets as you develop strength.


5. Squats Using Smith Machine




What it's supposed to do: Train chest, biceps, and legs. What it actually does: The alignment of the machine—the bar is attached to a vertical sliding track—makes for linear, not natural, arched movements. This puts stress on the knees, shoulders, and lower back.

A better exercise: Body-weight or weighted squats. See "Seated Leg Press" above.


6. Roman Chair Back Extension


What it's supposed to do: Train spinal erectors. What it actually does: Repeatedly flexing the back while it's supporting weight places pressure on the spine and increases the risk of damaging your disks.

A better exercise: The bird-dog. Crouch on all fours, extend your right arm forward, and extend left leg backward. Do 10 seven-second reps, and then switch to the opposite side.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:30 PM   #106
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Question, what exercises can I do to strengthen the knee area? All of the ones I was shown by the PT, were using the machines.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:50 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HemiEd View Post
Question, what exercises can I do to strengthen the knee area? All of the ones I was shown by the PT, were using the machines.
Stick with what your PT told you to do.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:09 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by TheGuardianofGuyCode View Post
The fact is if you are just after hypertrophy your muscles only know tension, and that can come from free weights, machines, bands, chains, strongman implements, or anything else.
Absolutely. Study after study has shown that you get the most muscle recruitment from movements that aren't restricted, as machine movements are.

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I love that hammer strength row machine better than any other row.
I can't imagine a scenario where I prefer a machine row over a free weight row (at least not in terms of the main movement... accessory work, I could see).

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The hyperextension is also a great machine and I use it all the time. In 22 years of this shit I've never met anyone who ****ed themselves up from doing hypers.
It severely irritates my patellar tendinitis. While it isn't the cause, it certainly exacerbates the problem and makes it far worse than something like a traditional squat.

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Machines have a place in training.
Absolutely! But I'd never use them as the foundation for a training regimen. That's a personal decision, but I also find that it's backed up by solid scientific evidence.
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:32 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Silock View Post
It severely irritates my patellar tendinitis. While it isn't the cause, it certainly exacerbates the problem and makes it far worse than something like a traditional squat.
I don't think he's talking about leg extensions. He's talking about hyperextensions (exercise # 6 in the OP), which are the "reverse sit up" for your lower back, glutes, and hams. Kind of like a stiff legged deadlift for girls.
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:01 PM   #110
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Ah, you're right. I had leg extension stuck in my mind from the OP. My bad.
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