Machines versus Free Weights

I feel machines serve a better purpose attracting members to gyms, but do little for their training. Statistically, more people are injured each year exercising on machines than with free weights. Machines often limit or force a one size fits all range of motion on the user. They also tend to isolate muscles or joint actions that perform better with mutlimuscle multijoint movements. A functional approach to training would involve working the body as one, while mimicking real life, or athletic movement; training movements, not muscles. The exerciser would be better off learning the squat pattern, for example, a fundamental movement, than isolating the various parts of that pattern via a hip abduction/adduction or a knee flexion/extension machine. As the gym culture mentality shifts, you ll be begin to see less gyms full of expensive cardio and resistance machines, and more open space full of free weight and other functional resistance equipment. Next time you re in the gym, take a look at what members are doing with their trainers. Take a look to your left and right, if a trained fitness professional does not have a client on the elliptical next to you, maybe you should be over by the kettllebell rack doing cardio too!! :) Take a look at this article on the oxygen cost of kettlebell swings. Theres alot of science - exercise physiology behind it, but to suffice to say, kettlebells provide a useful conditioning tool for fitness professionals. Performing a two handed kettlebell swings can improve the cardiorespiratory fitness of athletes and amateurs. However, fitness professionals should be aware that HRs achieved during continuous kettlebell exercise are significantly higher than the corresponding exercise V_ O2 demand. This explains, why your heart spikes during compound resistance training movments, but does not always have an aerobic benefit. Furthermore, the relationship between the 2 variables is greater than that noted for circuit weight training but less than that for treadmill exercise. Check out fellow New York City personal trainer, Tom Weaver, performing a Kettlebell swing.

Open Chain Exercises

A client recovering from plantar fascitis, recently inquired about incorporating some leg work into his routine that did not involve standing or bearing weight on the affected foot. "You are probably thinking of some of the "open chain" leg machines we have when you first enter the gym. Open chain meaning, your feet are not connected to the floor while loading your lower limbs. Open chain exercises put undue stress on your joints, and eliminate vital sensory input from your feet being in contact with the ground. Aside from being contra indicative for preexisting joint issues, they really arent good for anyone. Beyond selling memberships, these machines are pretty worthless. They gained some popularity with the weight training boom in the 70s, spearheaded by body building (lots of aesthetically isolating, dysfunctional movements) Statistically, more people are hurt each year using machines than free weights. They force you into a one size fits all plane of motion and can mislead normal proprioception as you just go with the flow. The science behind training is shifting towards more functional, multi-muscle, multi-joint movements that simulate and reinforce real world activity or sport. Typcally leg extension/curl, and inner outer thigh machines isolate muscles that perform better in unison and should not be isolated. You also are nt burning alot of calories when performing these movements."