I see so many people at the gym using machines in an unproductive and often dangerous manner. The machines at the gym are designed for specific purposes. Make sure you know what each machine is designed to do and, very importantly how to use it properly. Consult a qualified person to find out how to correctly use any gym machine so you can get the most from it. I’ve seen people injure themselves using gym machines in such a way they achieve nothing, or in such a way the machine is in jeopardy of being broken. Here a few tips when you are working out at the gym.
Slow reps, focusing on and engaging, the particular muscle to be worked, works best. Isolate the particular muscle you are working on and make sure that another part of your body is not engaged in the process. As an example think of how you work your biceps and ask yourself, do I also engage my back?
Also make sure that both your limbs are doing their fair share of the work. Often one arm or leg will decide to let the other limb do all the work. I have to be vigilant on the pull up machine to make sure my left arm is not letting my right arm do most of the work. Thankfully my neck gives me a sharp warning if my left arm is getting slack because my neck will start to hurt on the right side. So watch the distribution of effort from both the left and right on all machines that require left and right to work in unison. Of course if you want to strengthen one or the other side it is quite in order for you to work one side more than the other. As a rule of thumb, try to select machines that are better and isolating the muscle you wish to work and also ones that don’t allow one side to compensate for the other.
Heavy weights and fast reps, usually done to impress, often result in injuries. Sometimes the injuries incurred this way can have you carrying an injury or a body weakness for life. If you sustain an injury I recommend that you consult an exercise physiologist. Exercise physiologists study physiology and exercise and so can organise an appropriate, safe exercise regime for you that can strengthen your body and allow you to keep working out safely and productively.
Also make use of the negative part of a repetition. For instance when you push up on the bench press try lowering the bar slowly and feel the positive impact on your body.
When you do your triceps make sure your elbows stay pressed into your sides. I’ve seen so many people lift their elbows up near their chest when using a triceps machine.
When using a leg press push up through your heels.
If you are going to make the effort to go to the gym and work out why not get the best results you can?