According to professional bodybuilding coaches and athletes, working out with free weights is the best way of exercising that will allow a significant increase in strength and lean muscle mass and it should be on any exercise program.
But this does not mean that exercise machines should be fully avoided because they can be part of any properly designed training program and also can significantly contribute to increased muscle mass.
Exercise machines provide the following advantages:
• Simple and easy to use – On nearly every exercise machine you can find a picture of that muscle group that is activated in its use, the image also explains the proper way to use the exercise machine.
This makes almost all the machines easy to use for beginners.
This way all practitioners can make their own easy, simple training program.
• Efficient isolation movements for almost all muscle groups – When using exercise machines the body is fairly stable, so we are able to effectively target the major muscle groups.
• Possibility to use of larger weights without the need of assistance and support
• Easy to use by older practitioners and all active athletes who are in the process of rehabilitation from an injury
In continuation of this article you will see some exercise machines that can be a complement to your regular training program in order to allow maximum muscle stimulation of a particular muscle group.
Exercise machine number 1 – Leg press (Foot Press)
Squats represent the best complex movements to build a solid and massive quads, but for all active practitioners who improperly perform this exercise or have unpleasant pain while performing it, the leg press machine is a great alternative, allowing excellent quadriceps muscle stimulation.
The leg press exercise has a smaller range of motion compared to squats and therefore the muscles of the back and buttocks are less active in its performance (that contributes to maximum muscle activity of the muscles of the quadriceps that take the largest resistance movement; especially when used with more weight).
Leg press exercise offers the following advantages:
- This exercise is safer to perform in comparison to squats for all practitioners who don’t have firmly built legs and who do not do regular exercises for this muscle group
- Use of significantly bigger weight for maximum muscle activity of the quadriceps
- A different setting of the legs for maximum muscle stimulation from every possible angle.
Exercise machine No. 2 – Hack squat
For those practitioners who have trouble performing some of the main varieties of squats with free weights, the hack squat machine is a great machine that will allow full development of the muscles of the lower body (with a different positioning of the feet for maximum muscle activity from every possible angle) and is safer compared to squats.
Exercise machine No. 3 – T-bar row handle exercise
The favorite and most frequently used exercise machine back in the golden era of bodybuilding.
When performing this exercise, former bodybuilding legends used Olympic bar, while the body was posed at an angle of 45 degrees to the floor and the hands were always straight, while the grip of the rod was so that the hands were placed one above the other and their schedule changed in each series.
This way of performing the T-bar row movement requires incredible physical prowess and strength and a very small part of the active practitioners can properly perform this exercise.
For those practitioners who are unable to perform this exercise, the T-bar row exercise machine is specifically designed for this complex movement.
This machine is a great way to allow maximum muscle activity (by combining 3 different actions that activate different part of the muscle of the back) on the back.
Exercise machine No. 4 – Smith machine
There can be many exercises performed on this exercise machine (push movements, pull movements, squats, odds, dead lifting) and it is the exercise machine with the most options which can be found in a gym.
Exercise machine No. 5 – Seated side lateral machine
Exercise machine No. 6 – Seated machine flyes
This excellent exercise machine can be used as an effective movement of the chest (Chest Fly Machine Exercises) or effective movement of the muscles of the back (Rear Delt Machine) and with this, this machine provides maximum contraction.