By Cynthia Hunter, NASM CPT, PES, WLS
The gym is a controlled environment but there is still concern of injury caused from improper form, musculoskeletal imbalances and lack of stabilization. Read on and learn how to prevent injuries and workout smarter!
1. Ladies, this one is especially for you. Seated adductor machines. I know you like to sit on them in the hopes your thighs will be firmer and fat will disappear, but I must interject some wisdom. The majority of individuals have tight adductor muscles making habitual use of this machine detrimental to optimal function of the body. This could potentially lead to medial knee pain and some ACL injuries.
2. Next on the “better to skip it list” are seated abductor machines. With routine use, this machine can increase dysfunction of the piriformis. This can lead to symptoms of piriformis syndrome. A tight piriformis can eventually lead to chronic back pain, hip pain, and lateral knee pain. If you do suffer from the effects of a tight piriformis muscle be sure to foam roll!!
3. Torso rotation machines. These machines lure gym members with the thought of a tighter core and slimmer waists. However, this machine should NOT be used by individuals with a weak and underdeveloped core. Without properly developed core stabilization these exercises could lead to low back pain and increased translation of the vertebrae. After you can perform the stability ball “iso” rotation exercise, and keep your abs engaged and hips stable, you will be more conditioned to move onto this type of machine.
4. Your chest is tight. Chances are your pectoral muscles are severely overactive. This is because we use computers, drive, live looking down at our phones, and do other daily tasks in a forward motion using the chest muscles more than our back muscles. Strength training the chest is a good thing, as long as you pay equal (or more) attention to the back muscles. But there is one archaic chest machine that should never be used. Trainers may cringe at the very sight of these dinosaurs. The pec dec. Use of this machine puts an extraordinary amount of stress on the anterior shoulder complex and could eventually lead to bicepital tendonitis and cervical strain. Just stick to the traditional chest press machine and let the pec dec machine do what it’s best at…holding the floor down.
Any questions? Shoot them my way. I love to share what I’ve learned.
Lucett, Chere. Common Resistance Training Exercises and Machines to Re-think