If the Terminator movies have taught us anything, it’s that machines can’t be trusted. This is especially true when discussing the exercise machines in your gym, which aren’t designed to accommodate individual differences in body types, such as limb length and joint structure. As a result, training with machines, unlike with free weights, can fail to stimulate your muscles optimally and put you at risk for injury. The following are three of the worst offenders, per John Rusin, D.P.T., a physical therapist and strength coach to pro athletes (drjohnrusin.com), and our picks for more effective alternatives.
Is the equipment you’re using to build your body ineffective or—worse—downright dangerous? Don’t compromise your safety or your gains. Here’s what to do instead.