When it comes to the gym, not all equipment was made equal. In fact, some machines can actually be a bit of a waste of your time (even if you got to catch up on music videos while doing it).
“When you go to the gym, the equipment you see people on most is often a waste of time because they avoid the things that take hard work,” says personal trainer and Six Weeks to Sexy founder Blake Worrall-Thompson.
“The exercises and machines that people gravitate to are usually the easiest.” Guilty as charged. Here are the biggest offenders.
1. Cross trainer
Unless you’ve got an injury that requires low-impact exercise or a bad back, skip the cross trainer.
“People think it counts for their cardio workout and they’ll get results from it. While if you do anything at high enough intensity you’ll see results, most people don’t reach this,” says Worrall-Thompson.
“You’re much better off going for a run, doing stairs or using a roller. There are 1000 different and better cardio options.”
2. Inner thigh machine.
Working on those legs? There are far better options than this.
"While you can feel the burn, our adductor muscles are rarely used in a seated position or in isolation," says personal trainer Kylie Edwards.
"Instead, try standing side lunges, plank walk sideways or even good old start jumps."
WATCH: Sam Woods shows the easy workout you can do anywhere. Post continues after video.
3. Overhead seated shoulder press.
If this is in your workout, it may be time to trade it out for something much more effective.
"The chances of the handles fitting your shoulder width as well as suiting your range of motion are slim and this usually puts unnecessary stress on the shoulder joint," explains Edwards.
"You're also forgoing using your core and stabilising muscles. Instead, try standing and doing an overhead shoulder press with dumbbells or a resistance band."
4. Leg press.
"This one's a bit of a shocker of a machine," says Worrall-Thompson.
"There are far better ways to work your obliques - try side planks or medicine ball rotations."
5. Lying hamstring curls.
The burn doesn't always guarantee results.
"While this feels like a nice burn in the hamstrings and glutes, the hamstrings don't work in isolation and rarely need to be stronger in the horizontal position," says Edwards.
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She recommends opting for Romanian Dead Lifts instead. Sounds like something out of Gladiator? Let us explain. Start by holding a bar with your palms facing down, position your shoulders back, arch your back and bend your knees slightly. Lower the bar by moving your bum back as far as you can, ensuring you keep the bar close to your body, your head facing forwards and your shoulders back. When you go as far as you can, return to the original position and repeat.
For something easier, try standing hamstring curls. Stand with feet shoulder length apart. Raise one foot back, curling to meet your thigh. Repeat, gaining speed when you feel more confident.
Lying hamstring curls. Image: iStock
6. Chest flyer.
It may look impressive, but it's not the most time or results-effective.
"It brings your chest up and arms together but doesn't do a huge amount. You're much better learning how to do push ups properly or use a kettle bell. They work the same muscles but more effectively," says Worrall-Thompson.
7. Glute Kickback Machine.
"There are a lot more effective ways to train your glutes. Try step ups, lunges, deadlifts, proper hamstring curls or even on a swiss ball. They're all going to be a lot more effective than that," says Worrall-Thompson.
While cardio favourites like the treadmill certainly have their strengths, you've got to use them effectively.
"If it feels comfortable on your cardio machine (and you're able to read a magazine) chances are you're not challenging your system enough to cause a stress adaption," advises Edwards.
"Instead of steady cardio, throw in some sprint intervals, an incline or alternate your cardio with some weights."
How many of these were in your workouts?