There are hundreds of different fitness machines on the market, but despite manufacturers' claims, they are not always the best choice for working out.
When looking at fitness machines, it is important to look at what they are designed to do, and then make a decision as to whether they are better than the alternatives that may be on offer.
So what are the alternative fitness machne options you have open to you - well there's always the no machine option - meaning free weights!
This needs a bit of care as you need to know what you are doing, but ultimately it's what the pro's do. With regards to other machines like treadmills, bikes or even pull-up machines let's look at some examples and some pro's and cons to give you some food for thought :
- Weights: There are many fitness machines that allow you to develop your strength. Pros : Easier for beginners; don't require a spotter. Cons : Don't offer the variety of free weights; don't work the peripheral muscles as well as free weights.
- Running treadmills: Found in every gym in the land, running treadmills allow you to walk or run indoors. Pros: Treadmills can be used day or night, whatever the weather, are good for setting an exact pace, and if you get tired or injured, you don't have to get back home! Cons: A treadmill can never offer the variations of running outdoors. They can also be quiet boring, without the ever-changing scenery of the real world.
If you are looking at a home gym of some kind, then the best combination is likely to be an indoor cardio machine that allows you to workout whatever the weather (e.g. an indoor rower), and some free weights (dumbbells, barbells) that offer a lot of strength training in a limited space.