Use good form. Good form is different depending on what exercise you're doing but, in general, good form includes the following: 1. Don't swing your weights. Unless you're doing a sports specific workout, use slow and controlled movements. If you have to heave the weight up, it's too heavy. 2. Don't drop or throw the weights down. That's a great way to break a toe--yours or someone else's. If you're using a heavy weight, have a spotter nearby to help you. 3. Don't lock your joints. When you get to the end of a motion--like a squat--keep your joints soft to avoid hurting yourself. 4. Don't slump. Keep your abs engaged during all of your exercises and stand up straight to avoid injury and get the most out of your exercises.
Peck Deck Machine
Peck Deck Machine
This is a great machine for isolating the pectoral muscles (chest). Some peck decks have two vertical arm pads that you place your forearms against, while others have handles that you hold in your hands. How to use a peck deck machine: * Sit on the seat with the back fully supported by the back rest * Place the forearm of one arm on the pad at the same side (and grip the handle if there is one) * Bring this pad round as you twist your body to position the other forearm on the pad on the other side * Bring yourself back to the centre. Your upper arms should be parallel with the floor, if not, adjust the seat * When you are ready, squeeze the two pads together, in front of your chest * Control the movement back out towards the starting position * Stop once the upper arms are level with your chest and repeat the exercise Progression: Performing a peck fly with the arms straight places more emphasis on the upper chest
Lat Pull Down Machine
This movement is similar to a chin-up. While many believe that chin-ups are superior compared to the lat pull down, they have one major restriction. The user has to be able to lift their bodyweight. Many people are not strong enough to effectively work their backs with chin-ups, so the lat pull down is a great alternative.
How to do it:
* Sit in the pulldown machine with your hips right up under the pads (they are hip pads, not knee pads). * Take a slightly less than shoulder-width, underhand grip (palms facing you) on the bar or use a V-bar. * Start with the body vertical, arms straight over your head. * Begin the movement by arching your lower back slightly and sticking your chest out.
| * Pull the bar down to your lower pecs, leaning slightly and smoothly backwards as you pull to hit all the fibers in the lats. * The lat is a fan-shaped muscle and the lean back spreads the load over the whole fan. * Puff your chest up to meet the bar and try to squeeze your shoulder blades together behind your back. * Let the bar up slowly then repeat.
This movement should be done as a two-part movement to work your back best. * Start with just dropping your shoulder girdle.
* The arms should not bend in this part of the movement.
* Your shoulders should just drop down a few inches.
* Practice this short movement a few times.
* Once you have the feel for that, continue with the pulldown movement. * This technique will lock your lats into activation.
* Repeat this technique at the start of every rep
* Jerking the weight with lower back - this error is often made by people who are using too much weight in an effort to use momentum to get the weight moving. This reduces the effectiveness of the exercise by taking tension off the target muscles. It also has the potential to damage your lower back.
Leg Adduction / Abduction Machine
Leg Abduction Machine
Leg Adduction Machine
This machine works the inner thighs (adduction) and the outer thighs (abduction). Some gyms have two separate machines for adduction and abduction, while other gyms will have both exercises combined into one machine. How to use a leg...
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