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Exercise Machines to Stay Away From Featured

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Stay Away From These Exercise Machines

squats on smith machineWhile exercise machines might seem like an easier and better way to exercise, exercise machines aren’t always the safest form of exercise. In fact, some exercise machines are potentially dangerous. These dangerous exercise machines can actually create the injuries you were trying to avoid in the first place.

Exercise machines are designed to isolate certain muscle groups and help you to work them by moving your body in un-natural ways in order isolate individual muscle groups. Some exercise machines you’re using could actually be damaging to your joints. Don’t gamble on your health by using some potentially dangerous exercise machines.

Below are some potentially dangerous exercise machines and the dangers involved when using these exercise machines with suggestions of some alternative exercises.

Seated Leg Extension Exercise Machine

Seated leg extensions exercise machine allows you to extend your legs while sitting in a seat with your feet hooked under the padded lever. You raise the weight with your legs until they are pointing straight out in front of you and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. The danger: Physiologists at the Mayo Clinic determined that leg extensions place significantly more stress on your knees than squats. The resistance is place near your ankles, which leads to high amounts of torque being applied to your knee joint every time you lower the weight. Seated leg extension exercise draws the patella back onto the femur increasing joint compression forces, which can damage the connective tissue and the ligaments supporting the knee joint. It can also cause anterior knee pain so people with existing knee problems may aggravate them by doing this exercise. The alternatives: Free weight squats, split squats, and lunges—performed with perfect form—are all better choices for working your quads and protecting your knees.

Smith Machine man_smith_machine

The Smith Machine is an exercise machine that looks like a squat rack with a built-in bar that runs on guides. The Smith Machine is suppose to give you all the benefits of squats, but without the risk that comes from holding a heavy barbell across your back. The danger: Because the bar runs on guides, you can only move straight up and down as you squat—instead of down and back, as you would in a free-weight squat. The result is an unnatural movement that puts extra stress on your knees and lower back. Alternative exercise: If you’re not comfortable with barbell squats, simply do the exercise while holding dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides. Your body will be free to move through the natural motion of the squat.

Military Press Exercise Machine

Military press exercise machine targets the deltoids, triceps, upper pectorals and trapezius muscles. Use the military press exercise machine by pressing the weight upward and then lowing back down to the starting position. The Danger: Your hips are naturally design to support your shoulders should you lift something over your head. This exercise machine puts the joints around your shoulders at risk of injury by taking away the balance and support your hips provide. The Alterative: Do a standing barbell or dumbbell military press or medicine ball throws instead.

Pec Deck Exercise Machine

Pec deck is an exercise machine that trains the chest (pectorals) and shoulder (front deltoid) muscles. This exercise is perform by sitting at the machine with your back flat against the back pad. Placing your forearms on the padded levers and position your upper arms parallel to the ground. Pushing the levers slowly together and squeezing your chest muscles at the end of the movement. The danger: This exercise machine is potentially dangerous because it places the shoulder into one of its least stable positions, the dislocation position. Because of the extreme starting position when performing this exercise it can also cause tearing of the ligaments and injury to the rotator cuff tendons. The Alternative: Bench press is less dangerous. Keep your arms at shoulder width apart and exercising in the strongest range of motion (partial reps).

Behind The Neck Cable Lat Pull-Down Exercise Machine

Behind the neck lat pull down cable exercise machine allows you to perform the lat pulldown by pulling the bar behind your head, down to your upper back. The danger: Unless you have very flexible shoulders, this exercise is difficult to do correctly. It can increase your risk for shoulder impingement syndrome—a painful condition in which the muscles or tendons of your rotator cuff become entrapped in your shoulder joint. The alternative: Pull the bar in front of your Woman_lat_pulldownhead, down to your collarbone. You’ll work your back just as hard, but with less risk for injury.

Seated Rotation Exercise Machine

Seated rotation machine is a twisting exercise machine designed to helps melt your love handles away. The danger: Because your pelvis doesn't move as you rotate your upper body, the seated rotation exercise machine can put excessive twisting forces on the spine. The alternative: Use rotational exercises to work your obliques. Before you do any rotational exercises, brace your abs forcefully—as if you’re about to be punch in the gut—and hold them that way as you do the movement. This limits your range of motion and helps to keep you from rotating excessively at your lower spine. As far as your love handles go, only weight loss will help shrink those love handles.

Seated Hip Abductor Exercise Machine

Seated hip abductor machine is an exercise machine that works your outer thighs, including your glutes. The danger: Because you’re seated, this exercise machine trains a movement that has no functional use. And if this exercise machine is done with excessive weight and jerky technique, it can put undue pressure on your spine. The alternative: Work the same muscles with a loop resistance band around both legs. Position the band just below your knees. Now take small steps to your left for 20 feet, then side-step back to your right for 20 feet. That’s one set.

Bottom Line on Exercise Machines

Although these are potentially dangerous exercise machines, people still tend to gravitate to them in search for an easier and more effective way to exercise. But, beware of the dangers of these exercise machines. If you must use exercise machines, use them with caution, use perfect form and without loading a lot of weight on them. Free weights or other alternative exercises are still the safest form of exercise.

About Author Lynn Glenn

lynn_glenn This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is a popular  health, and fitness, author regularly writing for several top health and fitness websites. Lynn Glenn's expertise includes writing about the latest health, fitnessdisease prevention, diet, nutrition, natural healing, and  anti aging issues  being discussed today.  Lynn Glenn is also a senior writer and editor at including but not limited to, , and

Although these are potentially dangerous exercise machines, people still tend to gravitate to them in search for an easier and more effective way to exercise. But, beware of the dangers of these exercise machines. If you must use exercise machines, use them with caution, use perfect form and without loading a lot of weight on them. Free weights or other alternative exercises are still the safest form of exercise.

Last modified on Friday, 07 November 2014 20:27
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