If you exercise at a gym, there are some exercise machine errors you should try to avoid. Some errors may result in your not getting the full benefit from the exercise, while others may cause an injury. Before you use an exercise machine, make sure you understand how to perform the lift correctly, or ask someone at the gym for assistance.
1. Selecting too Many Weighted Plates
This is a common error many people make when they use an exercise machine. Using too many weighted plates may cause you to lower the bar on the machine too fast, which will make the plates slam down loudly against the rest of the stack. This is disruptive to anyone in a gym, and may cause them to lose their concentration during an exercise they are performing.
Using too many plates may also result in an injury, if you try to muscle the weight up at an awkward angle. When you workout on a machine, use just a few plates until you are sure you can handle the weight. Do a couple of repetitions, then add more plates if necessary.
2. Improper Hand Positioning on the Machine
Having your hands in the wrong position is another exercise machine error you should try to avoid. Many gyms have an instruction sheet that is right on each machine, to help you when you are unsure of where to place your hands. If there are no instructions available, just ask someone at the gym for help. You can also wait for another person to perform the exercise, and then watch where they put their hands. By putting your hands in the right place, you will be able get the maximum benefit from the exercise.
3. Using Poor Technique During an Exercise
Using poor technique can be dangerous, even when you are using an exercise machine. Besides losing control during the lift and causing the plates to slam down, there are certain machines that can cause serious injury if you do not perform the exercise correctly. An example is the Pec Dec machine, which you use to work your chest. During this particular exercise, if you do not hold the pads in the right place, one of your arms may move back faster than the other, which can injure your neck and shoulder muscles.
4. Using the Wrong Machine for an Exercise
Performing an exercise on the wrong machine is not only embarrassing, you will usually not get much benefit from the lift. Many gyms have exercise machines that look similar, which only adds to the confusion. Look for instructions on the machine or watch someone use it if you are not sure how to perform the movement. Some gyms have instructional classes where you can learn how to use each of the exercise machines. During these classes you will also see how to properly perform the lift, which will save you from having to ask someone for assistance.