We’ll probably get calls about how wrong this list is, because everyone thinks THEIR workout is the best. But according to the website Thrillist.com, here are the only five machines you REALLY need to be using at the gym.
1. The rowing machine. It burns a lot of calories and forces you to use about 80% of the muscles in your body. But a lot of people don’t use it, because they’re not familiar with it. Or because their gym only has one, and someone ELSE is always on it.
2. The pull-up machine. Meaning the thing for people who can’t do ACTUAL pull-ups, which is most of us. You kneel on a bench with a counterweight that helps you. And pull-ups are good because you have to use almost every muscle in your upper body.
3. The cable pulley station. It’s the huge thing you stand under that has cables with handles on either side. And you can do a ton of different exercises with it. Just google, “cable machine exercises.” (Here are a few.)
4. The preacher curl machine. That’s where you do curls with your arms on a padded thing to target your biceps. If you like dumbbells, that’s fine too. But the machine keeps you from swinging them and using the momentum to cheat.
5. The leg press machine. Use it if back problems keep you from doing squats. Although some people say the leg press machine CAUSES back problems. The point is, don’t ignore your legs.
The rower is the only one on the list that gives you a good cardio workout though. So if you only use those five, you should probably be jogging or biking too.