An exercise physiologist reveals the workout equipment you should always avoid in the gym, and why
Heather Milton: So when you're in the gym and you are looking for the best exercise equipment to use to maximize whatever your fitness goals are, there are a few that I would recommend staying away from.
One of them is if you are looking for general strength and functional strength as well as if you are looking to lose weight, I would suggest staying away from any of the machines that do one single-joint movement.And those are the things like leg extensions where you are sitting and you are just extending your leg or if you are doing just the calf raise meaning that you are just going up onto your toes and pushing up.
Exercises like that - bicep curls and tricep extensions are single-joint, single-muscles, so they are not really giving you as much benefit as trying to do what we call compound movements, which are using multiple joints at the same time, maximizing the amount of muscles active during the exercise like doing a chest press or a row.
Depending on the type of goal that you have, doing a rower, or an ergonometer, or stair stepper, all those machines are great for giving our cardiovascular benefit, as well as for activating a lot of muscles at once.
So they're all good for maintaining cardiovascular fitness and reducing your risk for health complications as well as improving your overall aerobic fitness.
They're not necessarily the best for building muscular strength, so when it comes to muscular strength, you do want to focus on exercises that you're able to do only about 8 to 12 repetitions of at a time before you fatigue.
And giving good rest of 30 to 60 seconds between each set of those exercises will give you the most stimulus to improve your muscular strength.