Weight machines can make a workout easier than using free weights. Machines are usually easier and safer than free weights for building chest and upper arm muscle. You can adjust most exercise machines for height and degree of resistance for a light, easy workout with many repetitions. If you want a more vigorous workout with fewer repetitions, increase the resistance. Exercise machines make working your chest and triceps easy because you can work specific muscle groups.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Do a thorough warmup before working out and cool down afterward. Warming up helps to gradually increase your heart rate and circulation to prepare your muscles for more strenuous exercise. Cooling down helps to return your heart rate to normal and allow your muscles to recover from vigorous exercise. Warm up for about 10 minutes prior to doing chest and triceps strength training on an exercise machine. Cool down for about 10 minutes following exercise. Brisk walking, jumping rope and calisthenics are good warm-up and cool-down exercises. Warming up and cooling down will also help reduce muscle soreness and reduce your risk of injury.
Chest exercises on an exercise machine are an ideal place to start, especially if you’re new to strength training. Most machines are equipped with printed diagrams to instruct the user how to use the machine and use the proper form to perform the exercise. Cable machines and bench press machines isolate and work your chest muscles and upper arms. Make sure your back is flat against the backrest for support. Position the cable handles at the level of your shoulders and pull the cables straight out from your shoulder. You push weights upward and outward on the bench press machine. Use a controlled motion and breathe out when pressing the weight out and up from your chest. Breathe in and slowly return to the start position. You can increase or reduce the amount of weight resistance for a more vigorous workout. Beginners should begin with eight to 10 repetitions.
Cable machines are also a good choice to work your triceps. The triceps pushdown is a beginner-level exercise that will build your triceps muscles for tone and definition. You must perform the triceps pushdown properly to get the maximum benefit from this basic exercise. Stand facing the cable machine and grasp the handle with your hands palms down. Keep your elbows close to your body as you push down on the cable machine to keep the emphasis on the triceps. Pushing a bench press machine up over your head using your arms also works the triceps.
Exercise Machine Safety
Always follow the safety recommendations of an exercise machine manufacturer. Follow the instructions of your fitness or gym instructor. Use proper form to avoid straining a joint or injuring your muscles. If you are using a home exercise machine, make sure to keep children away from your equipment. Never allow children to use or play on an exercise machine. Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising to avoid dehydration. While some muscle soreness is common following vigorous exercise, or after performing a new exercise, you should not feel intense pain. Stop exercising immediately if you feel a sharp pain that persists. See your doctor if experience pain, swelling or bruising following exercise.
- American Council on Exercise: When Strength Training, Is It Better to Use Machines or Free Weights?
- Rush University Medical Center: Exercise
- American Council on Exercise: Chest Exercises
- Fit Link: Chest Press
- American Council on Exercise: Exercise Library Search Results
- American Council on Exercise: Arm Exercises
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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