Friday, October 14, 2016

Are Gym Machines a Good Workout Choice?

Your gym is probably full of shiny machines designed to hit every muscle in your body. Most weight machines do that in two ways: limiting your range of motion and isolating a muscle group. This format is great for bodybuilders and those recovering from an injury.

If you are not in one of those two groups, which is unlikely, choose a workout that uses multiple muscle groups at the same time. Our bodies are meant to jump, crawl, dance, sprint, squat and lift. Plus, using multiple muscle groups at the same time will raise your heart rate and burn more calories in less time. Here's a few overall workout principles:

Dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, and medicine balls are far more versatile than machines. They help you build functional strength because they require you to move in all three planes of motion (sagittal, frontal and transverse) whereas a machine moves you through only one at a time. And, with free weights, you're more likely to eliminate weaknesses and imbalances because you can't compensate with your dominant side the way you can when lifting on a fixed-path machine.

There are endless ways to use your body as resistance - yoga poses, push-ups & burpees, planks, etc. - and most such exercises have you moving naturally, the way you were meant to, while engaging tons of muscles. To continue getting fitter, simply increase your reps, sets or pace or make your moves more challenging by adding instability.

When you do cardio, make your workout more efficient by heading outside. Run. Take a hike. Ride a bike. The change in terrain as well as the weather - wind, heat, humidity - provide added challenges that can result in better fitness gains. 

Step away from the big, clunky machines and move your body using integrated exercises and natural movement for a more effective workout that burns more calories in a shorter amount of time.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food 

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