To be clear, not all fitness equipment is created equal. There are some fitness machines that you should never use.
Exercise machines were invented to provide a safe alternative to free weights, but sometimes they're anything but. In fact, they can place your body in unnatural positions and push your joints through dangerous ranges of motion. Over time, this can lead to muscle tension and even serious injury.
So to get the most out of your next sweat session, avoid these nine pieces of equipment and instead use the alternative exercises shown on each slide for a safer, more effective workout.
Fitness Equipment You Should Never Use and Their Safer Alternatives
1. Seat lathe
These ab machines can cause lower back problems because they rotate the area beyond a safe range of motion. Your lumbar spine can only rotate 13 degrees — that's less than an hour on a clock. Rotating beyond that puts a lot of strain on your vertebrae and combined with the resistance of the machine, can quickly become a strain on your back. Your lower back is actually designed to resist, not create, torsion. To increase your rotational strength, choose core exercises that keep your spine stable and your core stiff.
Use this instead:
- Side plank (shown in the picture above)
- Palof press
- Anti-rotation cable break
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