Are you guilty of th­ese?

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Front Page -

1 Chest Press Ma­chine

WORKS THE… Chest mus­cles and tones the armpit area.

2 Lat Pull­down Ma­chine

WORKS THE… mus­cles on the back and sides of your body, for bet­ter pos­ture.

3 Low-row Ma­chine

WORKS THE… back, biceps and mus­cles be­tween your shoul­ders.

4 Leg Press Ma­chine

WORKS THE… Quadri­ceps (the front of the thighs), and glutes (butt mus­cles).

5 Leg Ex­ten­sion Ma­chine

WORKS THE… Quadri­ceps.

• YOUR MIS­TAKE Lift­ing your el­bows high, so you’re hunched and us­ing the back of your shoul­ders in­stead. You could also hurt your ro­ta­tor cuffs – the mus­cles and ten­dons near the shoul­der joints, says Izzy Tham, per­sonal trainer from Phys­i­cal Abuse.

• THE RIGHT WAY Hold the han­dle­bars two fin­ger spa­ces away from the tips. Place your el­bows at a 45-de­gree an­gle to your wrists, and check that you’re not hunch­ing when you push the han­dles away. Your head and shoul­ders shouldn’t leave the back­rest ei­ther.

• THE RIGHT WAY Ad­just your seat so the chest bar is rest­ing just be­low your breast­bone. Lean for­ward to pull the han­dles back, squeez­ing your shoul­der blades as you do so – this gives you a feel of how your back mus­cles should con­tract. Sit back up­right in your seat with your core en­gaged – this is the cor­rect start­ing po­si­tion.

• YOUR MIS­TAKE In­cor­rect foot place­ment and pos­ture. The leg press plate is large, and if your feet are too low and your knees bent at too acute an an­gle, you could be strain­ing your kneecaps. Lock­ing your knees as you push away from the plate also puts un­nec­es­sary pres­sure on your lig­a­ments and joints, Izzy adds.

• YOUR MIS­TAKE Rest­ing the foot bar over your in­steps (the parts of the feet be­tween the ball and an­kle) or high up on your shins – it will mean that you’re sit­ting with your hips away from the back­rest, caus­ing lower-back strain. Lock­ing your joints could in­jure your knees too.

• THE RIGHT WAY Sit into the back­rest, so that your en­tire back is fully sup­ported. Place your legs hip-width apart and rest the foot bar on your lower shins, just above the an­kles. Pull your ab­dom­i­nal mus­cles in to pre­vent your back from arch­ing, and flex your feet to en­gage your quadri­ceps.

• THE RIGHT WAY Sit­ting fully into the back­rest, bend your knees at 90 de­grees with your feet in the mid­dle of the plate. Keep toes in line with your shoul­ders, or higher, to tar­get the glutes. Con­trol your move­ments – don’t let the weight stack slam into its rest.

• THE RIGHT WAY Hold the bar with your hands slightly more than shoul­der-width apart. “From the side, you should look like you’re pulling the bar up to your col­lar­bones, lean­ing back a lit­tle, but still sit­ting tall with your core en­gaged,” says Izzy.

• YOUR MIS­TAKE Tug­ging the bar all the way down in front of you could put too much weight on your spine. Pulling the ca­ble bar down be­hind your neck is also wrong – it taxes the shoul­der joints and doesn’t open up the back mus­cles.

• YOUR MIS­TAKE Not ad­just­ing the chest bar to your height, or hunch­ing over when you reach for the ma­chine han­dles – this will mean that you’re us­ing your fore­arms in­stead.

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