Gym Machine Exercises

Most gym machines will have instructions written on them. If the instructions are unclear, do not hesitate to ask the gym staff for assistance. They are there to help you. Using machines is a safe place to begin strength training at the gym.


This machine mimics a push-up or bench press. It is a safe option for strengthening your chest and triceps, especially if you’ve never strength trained before.


  1. Have a seat and grasp the handles.
  2. Push the handles straight out in front, until your arms are fully extended but

not locked.

  1. Slowly return to the starting position, being mindful of not letting your arms drift past your shoulder.
  2. Repeat to the desired number of reps.


It is a challenge to replicate this movement at home unless you can do a pull-up, which most people cannot do.


  1. Adjust the pad so it sits snugly on your thighs to minimize using momentum.
  2. Grasp the bar with a wide grip, looking forward with your torso upright. (If you’re short like I am, you will have to grab the bar while standing and sit down with it held above your head.)
  3. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull the bar down in front of you to your upper chest. Resist the temptation to lean back to aid the movement.
  4. Keep your arms out to the sides as you pull down, leading with your elbows. Do not allow arms to drift forward as you fatigue.
  5. Slowly return to the top position and repeat with slow, controlled motions until you’ve reached the desired number of reps.

Tip: Resist the temptation to use momentum, by rocking back and forth, to aid in pulling the bar downward.


The seated cable row develops the muscles of the back and the forearms, and is a staple among gym-goers.


  1. Position yourself on the seat with your knees slightly bent so that you can reach the handle with outstretched arms. Keep your back flat.
  2. Pull the handle and weight toward the lower abdomen while trying not to use the momentum by moving the torso backward and forward. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you row, keeping your chest up.
  3. Return the handle forward under tension to full stretch, remembering to keep that back flat even though flexed at the hips.
  4. Repeat to the desired number of reps.

Safety Tip: Do not curve the spine forward. Keep the back flat at all times and avoid using momentum.


This machine is an alternative to the cable row and the dumbbell and resistance band rows.


  1. Make any necessary adjustments to the seat or chest pad. (Most machines usually have guidelines for height adjustments as well as instructions.)
  2. Grip the handles by reaching in front of you. You may have the option of a vertical or horizontal handle. Use the one that feels the most comfortable to you.
  3. Pull the handles, bending your elbows and pointing them out to the sides, as you focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  4. Slowly straighten the arms to the starting position to complete one rep.

Safety Tip: Make sure your wrists don’t bend by keeping them in line with the forearm, especially as you return to the starting position.


Leg press machines are an awesome place to start for people who haven’t exercised in a while or who are rehabilitating from joint surgery or injury because there is little chance of losing proper form.


  1. Sit yourself down on the machine and experiment with the weight by starting light and finding the weight that fatigues the muscles in the 10 to 15 rep range. Your knees should be as close to 90 degrees as possible.
  2. If it is the type of machine where you have to add weight plates, press without any added weights at first. There is always some resistance to the machines even without weight, especially with the vertical style.
  3. Press so that your legs are fully extended, but do not lock your knees.
  4. Push through your heels.
  5. Slowly return until your knees are back to 90 degrees and repeat, using slow, controlled motions.
  6. Repeat to the desired number of reps.

Safety Tip: Be sure your lower back maintains contact with the seat back throughout the motion.


I often program the calf raises between leg press sets for my clients. If you are doing two sets of each exercise, you will do the leg press, calf raise, leg press, calf raise. This is called super-setting.


  1. Once you have completed a set of leg presses, fully extend your legs and walk your feet down to the bottom of the plate so that the balls of your feet are on the bottom edge of the foot plate, with toes facing upward. (You will not have to change the weight.)
  2. Press upward as if you are standing on your tiptoes. Squeeze your calf muscles as you press.
  3. Slowly, lower your heels below the foot plate if possible, for greater range of motion. (People with plantar fasciitis find this stretch feels particularly good.)
  4. Press back up onto the balls of your feet and repeat to desired number of reps.

Tip: You can target the calf muscles differently by changing the position of your feet. If you want to target the inner calf, point the feet outward. Conversely, if you want to target the outer portion, point your toes slightly inward.


There are different versions of the hamstring curl machine, and your gym will have at least one version of it. The seated model is shown here, but there are lying and standing versions as well.


  1. Sit in the leg curl machine and place your calves on top of the padded lever.
  2. Lower the thigh support so that it rests just above your knees.
  3. Holding the handles for support and keeping your back pressed into the seat, pull your heels all the way to the back of your thighs. Hold for a count of two, squeezing your hamstrings.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position, with your legs fully extended in front of you.
  5. Repeat to the desired number of reps.

Tip: Try to relax your lower legs so that your calf muscles don’t try to take over your hamstrings.

Do You Have to Take Supplements with Gym Machine Exercises?

Gym machine exercises boost fat loss by enhancing both the afterburn after exercise and increasing muscle size, thus increasing resting metabolism.

Some people might also use natural fat burners as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle to increase metabolism or decrease appetite. When combined with a healthy diet, it will further increase the loss of excess body fat – and may also have other beneficial effects.

Resurge is of the most popular weight loss supplements that promise to help you shed pounds and sleep better. Because studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with deficiencies of growth hormone and elevated levels of cortisol, both of which contribute to obesity.

While other supplements promote nutritional factors, meal replacement forms, appetite suppression, or similar effects, Resurge boosts your body’s metabolism by increasing your core temperature. However, before making any purchases, you might want to read some Resurge reviews because the supplement industry is rife with scams.

Besides, it should be noted that supplements are ineffective on their own and are hardly a solution to obesity. Pills or supplements only work when combined with a healthy weight-loss diet and regular exercise.

In any case, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you are taking medications or have any health concerns.

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