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Design your workouts efficiently.
The best types of workout machines you'll find at the gym are those that work as many different muscle groups together as possible. The more muscles you work, the more calories you'll burn. Many machines look like they do about the same thing, so people choose one and skip the others. Using those little pictures and instruction sheets on the equipment is very important; it's up to you to get to know each machine.
Most Versatile Machines
You can perform a variety of workouts with the cable machine. It's entirely possible to get a full-body workout from this machine alone. Your muscles stay tense and are forced to stabilize you with every movement because you're doing free-handed workout maneuvers. You aren't locked into the machine with pads and a seat. You can perform moves at any angle; a far greater range of motion is possible with this machine, and its lack of assistance makes this a far tougher workout, especially for your core.
The rowing machine is also a multitasker offering great results. While the main focus is on your upper body, that's not the only part of your body that you're working here. When you are using this machine, you're engaging your arms and legs as well as your core muscles. When you're working smaller muscle groups in with larger muscles, you're maximizing your calorie burn. With so many muscle groups working, as you pick up speed, you're actually getting a great cardio workout from this machine as well.
The incline chest press is like a bench press but at a 45-degree angle, which challenges more of your upper-chest muscles. To focus on the chest, place your hands on the bar a bit wider than your shoulders. To engage your triceps more, your hand placement should be a bit less than shoulder-width apart. Pullups and dips are classic moves for a reason: they work. Don't let the name deceive you; triceps dips work more than your triceps. As you dip down, your pectoral muscles work to lower your upper arms to the middle of your torso. As you push yourself back upward, your shoulders work to straighten your arms out.
Pullups work a substantial amount of your upper body. Large muscle groups throughout your upper back, chest and shoulders as well as your forearms, triceps and biceps are all worked as you pull your body's weight up to the bar. The assisted pushup/triceps dip machine offers a boost from a bar you stand on while performing each move. This helps relieve some physical strain and the intimidation of attempting these moves while you're training your muscles to fully support your body weight independently.
The leg press targets your quads, glutes and hamstrings in unison, so this machine works more muscles at once than other leg-pumping devices. Shift the main focus with your leg positioning if you need to. To create a tougher workout for your glutes, place your feet high on the plate. Lower positioning puts more stress on your quads. For the full benefits of this machine, keep your feet centered on the plate.
When it comes to cardio workouts, the treadmill burns a lot of calories. You burn about 100 calories per mile walking at a brisk pace. If you don't have the ankles for it, the elliptical is your best bet. It's the closest thing you'll get to the treadmill as far as motion and calorie burn without the negative impact on your feet and ankles. When designing your workout routine, read the instructions listed on the side of your machines. Choose machines that work the most muscle groups.