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5 Underrated Machines That You Should Be Using At The Gym!

In this blog, I want to share with you a few gym machines that are not very popular but that can be useful in getting you to your fitness goals. Check them out!The Indoor Rowing Machine

Rowing is old school and historically one of the least popular pieces of gym equipment. It isn’t easy, glamorous, or even necessarily fun but it’s for everyone. Rowing is low-impact and fluid, and it isn’t limited by age, gender, or even athleticism. Rowing is as efficient as it gets and when performed properly, rowing looks smooth and almost effortless. Don’t be fooled - rowing is hard. Rowing uses 84% of your body’s musculature, making it the perfect full body workout, minus the stress on your joints.

According to a Harvard study, vigorous rowing burns up to 12.5 calories per minute, if you are time poor or a lunch break gym go-er the rower is for you.

The Sled

The Sled is another great piece of equipment to spice up your cardio training. Superior to running, skipping or sprinting as it is low impact, kinder to your joints and has little risk of injury. Sled training doesn’t exhaust your nervous system, and the push/drag movements are easier on the lumbar spine, shoulders and knees.

Use the sled for stand-alone conditioning workouts or for fat-burning "finishers" at the end of your regular strength workouts. Sleds are able to condition the body without requiring huge recovery periods between training sessions.

Don't be fooled, though. The lower impact and lack of soreness doesn't mean the sled is any less effective! The sled will always be challenging as long as you add weight and move faster.

Cables

If you think this piece of machinery is only for the elite gym go-ers, think again! The cable machine is a great way for beginners to try out something new whilst avoiding undue stress on their joints. Its versatility and ability to provide constant tension during an exercise makes it one of the most useful tools in the gym. I’m sure you have seen a crazy assortment of attachments lying on or near the towers; don’t be afraid to use them!

Smith Machine

No exercise is 100 percent safe, but you don't have to worry about losing control of a dumbbell when doing machine overhead presses or getting trapped under a bar while benching in a Smith machine. It balances the weight for you along a fixed, secure path of motion as opposed to free weights. All you have to do is push or pull the weight, which allows you to add on more weight and overload your muscles in a safe manner.

The Smith allows for versatility of exercises, you are able to perform almost any barbell movement using the fixed motion, great for fine tuning your form or those recovering from an injury. Use it for upper-body movements like presses and bent-over rows, or lower-body movements like squats, stiff-legged deadlifts, and lunges.

Also a great tool for those struggling to establish a mind to muscle connection, the Smith allows you to slow movements down, get the right muscles to fire in order to improve your lifting game.

Hamstring Curl Machine (Reverse Leg Curl)

Strong hamstrings stabilize your knee joint and help you accelerate and decelerate, during sports. Non-athletes and the elderly can benefit doing machine weighted hamstring curls for better balance, stability and endurance. This machine is for everyone at any fitness level, and is low impact.

Use it among your squats and leg extensions for balance. I always see too much movement through the hips, if you want to focus on a strong hard hamstring contraction, your hips and glutes should stay still and you should only have movement through flexion of the knee. Slow it down, and decrease the weight if this is you! If you are training your quads, be sure to train your hamstrings too avoiding any ligament tears – keep your ACL safe! 

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