Weight machines for strength training can be split into different areas for specific muscle groups. For example, the chest, the back, the stomach, the legs or the shoulders.
Some of the popular weight machines in the gym and their targeted muscle groups:
Weight machines for upper body
- Chest press (chest, shoulders and arms – pectorialis major, anterior deltoid, triceps) – works the same muscles as the free weight bench press.
- Pec dec (chest and shoulders – pectorialis major, deltoids).
- Lat pulldown (back, shoulders and arm – lats, traps, rhomboids, posterior deltoid, bicep, brachialis).
- Assisted pull ups machine (back, shoulders and arms – lats, traps, posterior deltoid, bicep, brachialis).
- Seated row (back, shoulders, arms – lats, traps, rhomboids, deltoids, biceps, brachialis).
- Shoulder press (shoulders, back and arms – deltoids, traps, rhoboids, triceps).
- Bicep curl (front upper arm – biceps).
- Tricep extension (back upper arm – triceps).
Weight machines for legs
- Leg press (legs and buttocks – quads, hamstrings and glutes) – works the same muscles as the free weight squat.
- Leg extension (front thigh – quads).
- Leg curl (back thigh – hamstrings).
- Calf raise (calves – soleus).
- Seated adductor machine (inner thighs – adductors).
- Seated abductor machine (outer thighs – abductors).
Weight machines for core
- Back extension (lower back – erector spinae).
- Ab curl (abdominals).
For a full body workout without using gym machines, explore bodyweight exercises, which can be done in limited space in your own home.
Which are your favourite gym machines? Are there any machines you couldn’t do without? Do you have any machines you dislike and never use?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.