(Better) Exercises to Substitute for Machines


As the health club transitions, various pieces of equipment are moving out so we want to offer some exercises to take their place.  In all cases, these are more productive, better ways to work the same muscles.  Check these out and ask our fitness staff if you have questions:

Focused Abdominal Curl.  Instead of an abdominal crunch, try this version of a curl that works the abs but saves the spine from damaging forces.

McGill Curl I - reduced

McGill Curl II - resized

Keep your natural low back “arch” while you lift your head and shoulders.  You’ll know if you’re doing it incorrectly if you feel your back press into your hands.

Bird Dog.  Instead of the Low Back Extension, try this:

Bird Dog

Stay in a neutral low back position and reach straight out with one leg and the opposite arm.  The goal is to move your limbs without moving through your back.  Imagine balancing something on your low back that your don’t want to fall.

Lateral Band Walks.  Instead of the Outer thigh machine, try this:

Lateral Band Walks I cropped

Lateral Band Walks II cropped

Concentrate on keeping your hips and shoulders level as you move laterally.

Standing Hip Adduction.  Instead of the Inner thigh machine, try this:

Stand tall and keep your hips level while you pull your leg across the front of your body.

Learn something new!


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Michael Bento is an Advanced Trainer at the Clubs at Charles River Park. He holds a Masters degree in Human Movement and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist.

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