These are the best recommendations for women to have fun while they workout.
The Best Gym Machines for Women
These gym machines can help women get into top shape.
2. Water rower
Rowing can be an incredibly effective exercise for everyone.
The device allows you to do hip extensions for the glutes and hamstrings, and all the pulling you’ll do is good for the mid-back and arms. The water rower is also good for women who suffer postural issues from spending hours sitting and typing at their desks.
“When done properly, it is a metabolic, total body workout that strengthens a lot of areas the average desk-bound professional needs to work on,” Jordan says
3. Glute machines
There are several gym machines that are good for the gluteal muscles, which are the biggest muscle group in your body. These muscles consist of the:
- Gluteus maximus. The largest of the three, the gluteus maximus originates on the back of the sacrum and and the pelvis and inserts on the back section of the top of the femur.
- Gluteus medius. This is another large muscle that originates from the back of the pelvis. It inserts on the top of your femur, near where it connects to your pelvis.
- Gluteus minimus. This muscle is the smallest of the three gluteal muscles. It is triangular shaped and originates on the pelvis, below where your thumb would be located if you put your hands on your hips.
It’s important to develop these posterior muscles because your glutes stabilize your pelvis, spine and hips, says Kristen Hislop, a certified personal trainer and owner of Hislop Coaching in the Albany, New York region.
“As you think about exercises to strengthen your glutes, the focus should be on standing exercises,” Hislop says. “It’s tougher to engage the glutes when you are sitting. We all do too much sitting, neglecting this muscle group. Sitting does not require glute engagement and often results in weakness. The hip flexors (top of the quads) tighten, which can cause pain felt down the chain (of muscles) to your feet and up into your back.”
Gym machines that can work your glutes include the cable machine and the hamstring curl machine.
You can do hip extensions on the cable machine to strengthen your gluteus maximus. Fasten the machine’s ankle cuff around your right leg and stand facing the low cable pulley. Step back, if necessary, until you feel slight tension in the table. If you need help to maintain your balance, use a bench or a chair. Focus on keeping your hips even throughout the exercise. Stabilize your core as you extend your leg back from the hip. You’ll have a slight bend in the knee, just to have your foot clear the floor. Your left leg will be working as well to stabilize your body. Slowly release your right foot back to the starting position, next to your left foot.
Many gym machines do double duty. For instance, the hamstring curl machine can help you work your hamstring and your glutes. This machine requires you to lie on your abdomen, with your forearms resting on pads, as you place a foot on the platform while lifting, one foot at a time. You choose how much weight to lift.
4. Hack squat
Strong legs are important because they’re the foundation of most your functional movement. Whether you’re running, walking, hiking, swimming or playing a variety of sports, maintaining strong, healthy legs helps keep you active.
The hack squat machine targets all the muscles in your lower body, including the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. To use the machine, adjust the weight on each side to your preference. Lean back against the backrest and hook your shoulders under pads, placing your feet shoulder-width apart on a platform. After unlocking the machine, squat down until your knee reach a 90-degree angle, then press through your heels back into the standing position.
“This is an amazing machine to practice a squat and be able to load up weight in a safe way,” says Jenn Costin, a certified personal trainer based in Madison, Wisconsin. “A lot of women fear squatting with a barbell from a safety standpoint, which is totally understandable. Learning the motion in a hack squat machine will help them to load up heavier weights, feel what it’s like to push a heavy weight, and it is an incredible lower body movement to begin any workout with.”
To avoid placing too much weight on your spine or if you’re unsure whether you’re training with the proper amount of weight, consult with a professional trainer.
5. Total Gym ELEVATE Core ADJ
The core trainer, manufactured by Total Gym, may look like a complicated contraption, but this machine is simple and easy to use. It consists of a rolling glide board with a pad and handles at the top that allows users to exercise a variety of planks, crunches and pikes – all of which help strengthen the abdomen, back, hips and shoulders.
Maintaining a strong and healthy core helps with flexibility and balance. A strong core also helps stabilize your lower back and is helpful in maintaining good posture, which is good for your overall health.
Your core includes the following muscle groups:
- Abdominals, the muscle that many people associate with a six-pack. This muscle helps with the stabilization of your internal organs.
- Back muscles, including the quadratus lumborum, which is located in the lower back. This muscle is often associated with lower back pain, mobility issues and posture.
- Diaphragm, a muscle that contracts and flattens during inhalation and exhalation. This muscle is located at the base of the chest.
- Glutes, a group of three muscles on your rear end. They help with hip extension and rotation.
- Pelvic floor, which are muscles that run between two sitz bones, the pubic bone and the tail bone. “They support core function and stabilization,” Lyons says. “They become more important as we age.” Healthy pelvic floor muscles and tissues help with bowel movements, hip stabilization, sexual health and urination.
You don’t need a lot of upper-body strength to benefit from these machines. Since the Total Gym core trainer primarily uses a plank position to glide in and out, you are working major core stabilizers and improving overall core strength, Lyons says.
Running on a treadmill is a great way to get into better shape, says Jenny Harkins, a certified group fitness instructor and owner of Treadfit, a fitness facility in Chicago.
“The treadmill is a versatile machine for women looking to lean out,” she says. “By adjusting the speed and incline throughout a workout, women can hit multiple muscle groups, while targeting stubborn fat.”
Running on the treadmill is a great cardiovascular workout that targets all of the muscles in the legs, hips and glutes, but when you run on an incline, you’ll be able to build more muscle strength and power, as well as burn more calories.
Harkins recommends working out on a treadmill for 30 minutes three to five times a week, depending on your fitness goals.
7. Stationary bike
“It’s a great option for women looking to burn calories and firm up,” Harkins says. “Spinning at a moderate pace is not only easy on the joints but provides a great cardio workout. Women can ramp up the fat burn by including bursts of intensity and resistance. Start with several 30-second bursts that leave you breathless, returning to a moderate pace to recover in between each burst.”
Cycling offers an array of health benefits, including improving your cardiovascular fitness and staving off certain health conditions. A large study published in 2017 in the journal BMJ of more than 263,000 participants in the United Kingdom found that commuting by cycling was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and all-cause mortality.
Another benefit of cycling is that it’s gentle on your joints, which makes it a great alternative to high-intensity interval training workouts for individuals who are starting a new fitness routine and for people who are older.
8. Assisted pull-up machine
While it looks simple, a pull-up is an advanced and highly challenging upper-body exercise that works a variety of muscles at the same time, including your:
- Latissimus dorsi, commonly known as your “lats.” This is a large, flat muscle that covers the width of your middle and lower back.
- Arm muscles, including your biceps and triceps.
- Pectoral muscles, or “pecs,” which stretch across your chest.
“If we don’t train the ‘pull’ muscles, it can feel almost impossible,” Lyons says. “The assisted pull-up machine offsets your body weight in a way that makes it tangible to progress as you train. Once your back and core begin to get stronger, the weight of the assist will get lighter, meaning you are pulling your own weight.”
The typical assisted pull-up machine includes cables attached to weights. To start, stand, sit or kneel on the platform of the device and grasp the two handles properly. Begin with a weight that is around 30% of your body weight and see if you can do a pull-up.
If the pull-up is too difficult, you need more weight to support it. If the pull-up is too easy, lower the weight closer to zero. You can adjust the weight by moving the pin in the weight plate until you reach the amount of weight needed to lower yourself smoothly. Keep your ribs together so that your spine isn’t arched and keep your shoulders away from your ears to engage the lat muscles.
Return to your starting position. Be sure that your core muscles and body are aligned properly, and begin doing reps. Try to do at least about 10 reps, resting for about 30 seconds after each one.
9. Dual cable cross
With its sturdy metal body and arms, this adjustable machine vaguely resembles a miniature version of the power loader in the 1986 movie “Aliens.”
“This is a great item that a lot of gyms have, but also so many apartment/office building gyms love having this in their space thanks to its multifunctional use,” Costin says.
The versatility of this machine allows people to work functionally through a greater range of motion, adds Denise Cervantes, a certified personal trainer based in Los Angeles.
“You can create a full program with this machine alone,” she says. “Make sure to brace the core as you work through all the different lines of force. The standing cable dual chest press is a great workout for women to strengthen the upper body. You can easily transition to a standing shoulder press, making the workout into a super set.”
9 best gym machines for women:
- Smith machine.
- Water rower.
- Glute machine.
- Hack squat.
- Core trainer.
- Stationary bike.
- Assisted pull-up machine.
- Dual cable cross.
The Best Gym Machines for Women
These gym machines can help women get into top shape.
This article is based on reporting that features expert sources.