If you want to reduce your training benefits by 30%, just take a seat on the countless number of machines in gyms across the country. Unless special circumstances exist, i.e., physical rehab, physique training goals, etc., machines are inferior and many times dangerous when compared to free weight and body weight movements.
1. The moment we sit down on a machine that controls the back and forth or up and down movements, we take away from our stabilizer muscles the ability to hold steady and control the resistance through its full range of motion.
2. The moment we sit down, our glutes (butt muscles) and trunk (stomach and lower back) are no longer called upon to stabilize our posture and keep tight form. We already sit on our butts too much anyways...at the office, in our cars, at the dinner table, and on the couch. When we're in the gym, let's get off our butts and stand on our own two feet.
3. Finally, the moment we sit down, we reduce the demand on our central nervous system to help stabilize and balance our bodies as we move iron. This is not good! Strength training is NOT just about building a sexy body, rather it's about fine-tuning our motor skills, building better neuro-muscular connections from our brains to our muscles. The better we move, the better our quality of life!
Part 2 will wrap up the negatives on too much "machine training" and provide alternatives and solutions to achieve your best in human movement.
Make it a great day!