5 Reasons to Stop Using Exercise Machines
When new members walk into Dynamic, there are a few things we typically hear:
- "Wow, this looks different!"
- "Lot's of open space"
- "I've never seen most of this equipment"
This is music to our ears as we continue our push to change the gym experience forever.
You won't find endless rows of cardio equipment like treadmills, ellipticals and stair steppers.
You won't find strength machines like bench press racks, leg press and ab crunch machines.
Instead, you will find big open spaces for our members to move in a variety of ways and various equipment like sleds, ropes and kettlebells.
This style of training (often referred to as functional training) allows you to train in a way that carries over to your life outside of the gym or athletics.
It is designed to improve fitness, strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and improve your day to day activities.
Let's get into 5 reasons why you should ditch traditional exercise machines and embrace a new wave of functional training.
The problem with exercise machines is they provide the stability for you.
Picture yourself seated, laying back on a leg press machine.
By sitting and holding on to the handles, you can handle a lot of weight but your body does little to do what it's designed to do -- stabilize you.
See, when you pick up a heavy bag from the floor or walk up the stairs your body works to both move you with the work of the prime moving muscles and stabilize you with the work of the deep stabilizers.
This happens without you even thinking about it.
Not only does this make you stronger and more efficient but most importantly, it protects you against injury -- especially at your low back.
Training with machines can actually decrease our bodies' ability to stabilize and actually weaken the muscles that protect our spine and various joints.
Instead, focus mainly on exercises that challenge both your strength and stability like squats, push-ups, inverted rows and planks.
Did you know weight training can increase your flexibility?
This is only true though when you work through a full range-of-motion.
The problem with traditional workout equipment is that it limits your range-of-motion.
The goal often becomes how much weight you can handle vs how much weight you can handle through a controlled, full range of motion.
This limited-motion style of training can cause overuse and stiffness at your joints, decreasing your flexibility and increasing your risk of injury.
We understand our members have busy schedules and do not have a ton of time to train.
This is why we make use of just about every minute of our sessions.
One way we do this is choosing the most efficient, bang-for-your-buck exercises that work multiple areas of your body at once.
For example, instead of using a chest press machine we choose push-ups.
Like the chest press, the push-up also works the chest and arms but also challenges your hip and core stability, making the push-up a total-body exercise.
Multi-joint exercises like push-ups, squats and lunges challenge not only your strength but also your stability, control, balance and posture making them a better use of your time.
When you are short on time, choose the exercises that are going to deliver the most.
You sit during the day.
You sit to eat.
You sit during your commute to work and carting your kids around.
Being stuck in this position has a negative impact on our movement, range-of-motion, flexibility, pain, stiffness and injury risk.
This is why we spend a good amount of time during our cool downs warming up and stretching the areas that get stiff and tight from sitting, like our hips, low-backs, neck and shoulders.
This is also why we do virtually no exercise sitting like you would do with traditional exercise machines.
We want our members upright, rotating and moving to off-set the sitting they do outside of the gym.
This does wonders for movement, flexibility, burning calories and performance but also has a profound impact on their risk of injury in and out of the gym.
When it comes to keeping exercise fun, variety is king.
This is why we have an endless array of exercises and equipment we use with our members.
Not only that, but our coaches are always varying the exercise order, duration, speed and intensity at which they are done.
This keeps our member's experience fresh and allows them to blast through plateaus.
You won't find many single pieces of equipment at Dynamic.
Instead, we have enough of our equipment to be used in a group setting.
This increases the fun our members have while exercising and allows them to train with others in a group setting.
Looking to improve the boredom you experience with exercise?
Ditch the traditional gym equipment for functional exercise :)