Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why Machines Suck - An Opinion from a Wannabe

Don't take me seriously. I am just a wannabe. I am not an athlete, let alone a trainer. I don't have slabs of muscle. I don't have veins sticking out of my arms and legs. I don't take pictures of myself flexing my almighty muscles in front of the mirror and post it on my blog.

Please sir. Please don't take me seriously. But of course, this is my blog. And therefore I am entitled to write whatever the hell I want. And so I am writing.

Machines suck. Those squats, and benchpresses you do on the smith machine? They mean nothing. But I think one of the most dangerous of all machine exercises is the leg press. You lifting tonnes of weight with your legs? You think you're macho? Yeah, you are. You're strong. But you're risking injury too. When you're risking unnecessary injury, what does that make you? Fill in the blanks yourself.

Let me give you an excerpt out of the book Beyond Bodybuilding by Pavel Tsatsouline. Anyone serious enough in sports science would be interested to know what Pavel says. But hey, don't take my word for it. I'm just a wannabe, remember? But back to the programme, folks.

"Q: What is wrong with the leg press machine?

A: Where do I start? The leg press puts you in an unnatural position where your knees extend but your hips do not (your legs do line up with your body). In a study by Canadian researcher Digby Sale, strength gains on the leg press had no meaningful carryover to the squat, read a functional movement.

The sled can be dangerous, especially if you bring your knees too close towards your chest as is typical among muscleheads. Your tail comes off the pad and your rounded lower back has to bear the brunt of the unrealistic poundage. This type of flexion is the number one cause of disc herniations.

Last but not least, the sled and most other machines do not challenge your stabilizing muscles. With very few exceptions, exercise machines belong on the junk pile of history next to Communism."

Nuff said.


FatLouie said...

I have to agree wf u on the leg press. I've never like that bloody machine. I always feel unsafe having all the weights pressing down with me lying there. I know there's this safety clip but by the time i lost control, my legs will be practically sticking on my chest already.

To me, squat is king of all lower body exercises. It really tests your core, target on whole body and require stability from both legs and, again, core. Having able to carry super weights doesn't mean anything, really.

Aizan Suhaira said...

Adeline: I prefer deadlifts rather than squats. But I agree that the squat (both front and back) have good carry over to functional strength.

Kasey Brown Fitness said...
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