Women can sometimes feel intimidated when inside a gym, especially when they’re just starting out. Aside from the overwhelming dread that comes with being in the same room as many Hulk-like men, the wide selection of gym equipment may worsen the panic building up from not knowing how to use the machines.
If this describes how you feel every time you go to the gym, you may be tempted to focus all your energy on bodyweight and free-weight exercises. While this may be the easiest route, you must never disregard the power of equipment-assisted workouts.
There are some fitness machines that can help make you feel more at ease in working out. For a start, here are four gym equipment that women can use and some advice on how they work:
1. Lat Pulldown Machine
Building a strong back is one typical reason why women go to the gym. Aside from reducing the risk of injury, working this part of the body can also help you stand taller and look sexier in a strapless dress.
This is where lat pulldown machines can help. This piece of equipment can be used to work out the latissimus dorsi, the so-called “lat” muscles that wrap around the rear end of the rib cage along your back.
Lat pulldown machines simulate the pull-up, which is considered one of the top upper-body strength exercises ever developed. Pull-ups are very difficult to do without proper training. If you build up your lat strength, you should be able to perform a perfect pull-up in no time.
2. Back Extension Machine
This home gym equipment may often be overlooked because of its size; but the truth is, it can do wonders for your core strength. Also called the “Roman chair,” this equipment is used for isolation exercises that focus on your lower back, particularly the erector spinae – the muscle group that extends the spine. This includes the spinal, iliocostalis lumborum, and the longissimus thoracis.
Having a strong lower back can reduce back pain and enhance your posture. Doing a back extension exercise has also been known to complement abdominal workouts through reverse core movements as compared to crunches.
With the help of this machine, you can stabilize your lower body while working out the glutes and abdominal muscles more. You can also exercise your hamstrings and posterior chain using this type of equipment.
3. Cable Machine
Women shouldn’t fear using cable machines just because most men are using them. In fact, this type of gym equipment offers a stabilized movement of the joints akin to that of free weights, with the added benefit of continuous tension. This helps improve the range of motion, thereby making the joints more flexible.
When you have more range of motion in your joints, chances are that you would have fewer accidents due to losing balance. Moreover, thanks to the interchangeable handles this machine comes with, you should be able to perform more kinds of exercises – from seated row and chest fly to standing trunk rotations.
The best part? Being able to perform different types of workouts means you can work more – if not all – the muscles in your body.
4. Chest Press
If you’re after working out several muscles in one exercise equipment, then the chest press is definitely the right choice. Routines where this equipment is used target the pectorals or chest muscles, and the anterior deltoids which run from the clavicle along the shoulder ending in the humerus (upper arm bone).
Doing a chest press is much more beneficial than performing push-ups as it removes some strain from your shoulders and wrists. It also helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other issues involving the hands or wrists, making it a viable alternative to the bench press.
Fitness for All
The need for fitness is universal.
Men, women, young, and young-at-heart, no matter who you are, it is crucial that you keep your physical and mental well-being at its optimum level through an exercise to complement a healthy diet.
Whether you go to the gym or work out in your home, you should make sure that you have the right equipment that will help you do your best workout. Focus on your form and, ultimately, train your body until you reach your full potential.