Which Weight Machines Should Women Use?

woman with pull down bar on weight machine

Many women think that weight machines are meant only for serious bodybuilders. But, this simply isn’t true. Women of all ages and fitness levels can greatly benefit from using weight machines as part of an exercise program.

Some also fear that weight training will make them bigger or more masculine-looking. This is a myth - and often gets used an excuse for not exercising! Women do not produce as much testosterone as men and this hormone is important for building muscles’ bulk. Instead, weight training will make women’s muscles more toned and shapelier, plus provide a host of other health benefits.

Benefits Of Using Weight Machines

Strength training 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes benefits women’s health and fitness in a number of significant ways:

Increases lean body mass, which burns more calories

Improves posture, balance, strength, and endurance

Increases bone density, which protects against osteoporosis

Decreases the risk of various health conditions, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes

Improves mood and self-esteem

It is important to have some understanding about weight machines before heading to the gym to use them. There are many different types available and a variety of different exercises that can be done with each. Here are 5 popular machines to look for:

Cable Tower or Cable Crossover Machine - These machines are all-in-one: the provide for doing different exercises that work different muscles all on a single machine.

Smith Machine - This type of machine is another versatile piece of weight training equipment that allows for working several muscles at once. Common exercises are squats, chest presses, lunges, and shrugs. It has a safety feature built-in. If muscles become fatigued and the weights feel too heavy, the bar can be planted on the nearest safety stop.

Leg Press Machine - This machine targets the inner thighs and glutes.

Lat Machine - A lat pull-down machine has several different types of grips on it, which allows for a full back workout.

Shoulder Press - This machine works the top sides and front of the shoulders.

When beginning a weight training program, it is a good idea to receive some instruction from someone who is knowledgeable in using the exercise equipment. This will help maximize results of your workout, while minimizing the risk of injuries. Many community centers and health clubs offer on weight training specifically for women. A few sessions with a personal trainer can also provide a good overview.

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