Advice on 10 Exercise Machines to Avoid

Saturday, worn out from being on my feet all day, I arrived at the gym and decided that instead of running, which was what I came prepared to do, I would lift weights. Not only that, I would get on the weight machines that I hadn’t used since I started working with my trainer in January. She and I, after all, had focused largely on body weight exercises, preparing for this summer when I’d be away from the gym.

It felt good to get on the machines and do a circuit, because it felt good to be prioritizing exercise on a day when it would’ve been easy to blow it off in favor of everything else I was getting done. The first machine I got on was the seated leg extension, which I’ve always suspected isn’t great for my knees. I set the weight pretty low on it because of that suspicion.

This morning, a FB friend linked to this helpful article on Women’s Health, Train Better: 10 Exercise Machines to Avoid. Of course the seated leg extension is the first one listed!

I’m glad she posted it, because it reminds me that I have no excuses for slacking while up on the island this summer. I can do pretty much all of these exercises without being anywhere near a gym. I can probably rig up a bar, even, to do the incline pull-ups, if I’m so, um, inclined.

One thing this article doesn’t explicitly mention, but that always crosses my mind with the weight circuit machines, is that even though they are designed so you can adjust seats and pads, they are ultimately designed to accommodate the average gym user. And, their designs are old enough that I’m quite sure they were designed at a time when the average gym user was a man. Some chest fly machines, for example, really seem only to fit people with alarmingly wide shoulders—if I have to lean left to grab that pad, then pull it half-way in and lean right to grab the other, it is probably not a great machine for me to use.

So, no gym is no excuse. If you don’t want to spend the money on an exercise band, use the waistband of old pantyhose. You can do squats naked as a jaybird, no special outfit or shoes required. (I’m not sure I recommend that, but hey, why not?!)

I need to get myself organized and make a section in my trip binder for work-outs I can do, then create some sort of work-out chore jar that will motivate me to try them all in July.

I found this great image while looking for a photo of someone exercising outside, not in a gym:

Image via Flickr courtesy of Ms Tea

One of the awesome things about it is the statement she added under the image:

day 349- the next 365

1. the trait of sincere and steadfast fixity of purpose

I find reasons ,not to exercise, I can’t really tell you why, but every time I do exercise i think to myself, “now, why don’t I do that more often?”
I can’t commit to it.
I’m not very good at it, or so i thought.
Today I realized, i have committed myself to the 365 project, taking my daily shot,so i should be able to manage to walk daily , and not die or something.

The photo was posted in 2007. I wonder how she’s doing. I hope she’s still committed.


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