The majority of the population would like to enhance athletic performance, overcome obesity, shape up or simply increase their energy. The gym is the perfect place to achieve these goals and fight obesity; however, with the ever increasing amount of exercise machines it can be hard to decipher the beneficial ones from the useless and/or flat out harmful ones. Below is a list of the exercise machines that you should avoid while working out and why they are so detrimental to your performance.
There is a wide variety of ab machines on the market that promise a trim sexy waistline or washboard abs, with minimal effort and without the tediousness of daily sit-ups. According to personal trainer and author of the book “The Complete Book of Abs” Kurt Brungardt, these machines are overhyped and working a specific set of muscle has no effect on the fat around them. Although certain ab machines may help to strengthen stomach muscles, whether you are struggling with obesity or merely carrying around an extra 10 pounds, the results of these machines will remain hidden under a layer of fat (which can lead to obesity). In addition, certain ab machines such as the seated ab crunch can reduce athletic performance by causing muscular imbalances and poor posture. If you really want visible abs, Kurt recommends 15 to 20 minutes per day of high intensity ab exercises, a healthy diet and regular cardio workouts. This can be of benefit in the fight against obesity.
Using the thigh abductor while you’re working out is not only futile, it can also damage the small, delicate muscles in your thighs, states Kate Dailey, of “Newsweek.” The thigh abductor can also reduce your athletic performance capabilities because, similar to the ab crunch, it causes muscular imbalances which can lead to posture problems.
Supporters of these machines claim that they quickly tone and build muscles, improve flexibility, increase strength, combat obesity, enhance sports performance, reduce pain, and even reverse osteoporosis. They also claim that working out with these machines will deliver the same results as traditional types of exercise– in just 1/3 of the time. Although there may be a kernel of truth behind some of these claims, what promoters of these machines fail to tell you is that working out with them can cause a wide range of injuries, including back pain, cartilage damage, blurred vision, hearing loss and even brain damage, states biomedical engineering professor at State University of New York, Clinton Rubin.
This is a favorite machine amongst soccer players and other athletes trying to enhance their athletic strength and performance. However, working out with a leg press machine can be dangerous because it encourages you to bend your knees too deeply, which result in spine misalignment. When this happens, your lower back has to takeover, and this increases the risk of spinal disc damage and lower back strains. In addition, if you suffer from obesity, you definitely want to avoid working out with these machines because they will put too much pressure on your knees, which may lead to irreparable damage to your knee tissue.
The Behind-the-Neck Lat Pull-Down
Although the lat machine itself is okay, using it to perform behind-the-neck lat pull-down is something that you definitely want to avoid doing while working out. The problem with the behind-the-neck pull down is that it is almost impossible to perform correctly and it can vastly increase your chances of developing shoulder impingement syndrome, which is an extremely painful condition whereby the tendons of you rotator cuff become trapped in your shoulder joint. In addition, Dave Mansfield, MA, warns that this exercise puts joint stabilizers at risk and can result in severe performance trauma to your cervical spine.