cise routine is intimidating when you first begin. Just imagine that you walk into the gym and see twenty different machines with no idea which one you should use. With this handy guide, we will give you a short list of all effective gym machine exercises. Ready to get more from every minute and work more muscle in less time!!


Calf raises are a popular strength training exercise, which can be done at any time. This exercise helps strengthen both the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. If you perform the exercise with a bend in your knees, you strengthen the soleus.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Sit down on the machine and place your legs on the platform directly in front of you at a medium foot stance. Lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended in front of you without locking your knees. Your torso and the legs should make a perfect 90-degree angle.

FINISH: Press on the platform by raising your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.


If your goals are just to look good or do some basic strength training, the leg machine is a good alternative option to free weight exercises. Leg press machines are common sights in most gyms. Used as an alternative to squats, lunges and other lower body exercises.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Adjust the bottom position of the machine and seat yourself. Select an appropriate load for your training, and then plant your feet a little wider than shoulder width on the platform. Grasp the handles, maintaining good spinal position with your chest up and your head looking forward.

FINISH: Driving through the heels of your feet, extend through the hips and knees to push the sled upward. Do not lock out your knees. After holding the top position for a movement, return to the starting position without fully returning the weight to the stack. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.


The seated row is one of the most effective exercises for targeting your back muscles. The entire back is exercised in a non-stressful way: the erector spine in the lower and middle back, the trapezius in the upper back, the rhomboids and latissimus dorsi in the middle back and the teres major in the outer back.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Access to a low pulley row machine with a Double Row Handle. Sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked. Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the Double Row Handle. Your arms extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you.

FINISH: Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it until you touch the abdominals. Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point, you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the starting position and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.


With any big muscle move such as a chest press, you will bring other muscles into play. In this case, you will work the triceps, the muscles in the back of your upper arm, which help you push the weight away from your body, and the deltoids, which are the muscles in your shoulder.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Sit down on the Chest Press Machine and select the weight. Step on the lever provided by the machine since it will help you to bring the handles forward so that you can grab the handles and fully extend the arms. Grab the handles with a palms-down grip and lift your elbows so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor to the sides of your torso.

FINISH: Now bring the handles back towards you as you breathe in. Push the handles away from you as you flex your pecs and you breathe out. Hold the contraction for a second before going back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. When finished step on the lever again and slowly get the handles back to their original place.


V-bar Pulldowns is a great exercise to target the latissimus dorsi, or “lat” muscle, which is the widest and most powerful muscle of the back. This exercise also activate numerous secondary muscle groups, which act as stabilizer muscles during the exercise and daily life activities. These secondary muscle groups include the middle back, shoulders and biceps.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Sit down on a pull-down machine with a V-Bar attached to the top pulley. Adjust the kneepad of the machine to fit your height. These pads will prevent your body from being raised by the resistance attached to the bar. Grab the V-bar with the palms facing each other (a neutral grip). Stick your chest out and lean yourself back slightly (around 30-degrees) in order to better engage the lats.

FINISH: Using your lats, pull the bar down as you squeeze your shoulder blades. Continue until your chest nearly touches the V-bar. Exhale as you execute this move. Keep the torso stationary throughout the movement. After a second hold on the contracted position, slowly bring the bar back to the starting position as you breathe in. Repeat this motion for 2 minutes.

NOTES: Avoid the temptation to use a weight so big that you need to start swinging your torso in order to perform the exercise.


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