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7 'manly' gym machines women should use too

November 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Many gym goers have a definite plan when they go, but quite often it involves a routine they know all too well. Too bad, because there are some great machines at the gym that many, especially women, aren't using.

"There are machines that we've learned for some reason that we're comfortable with, and so we always gravitate to those machines," said Phil Dozois, owner of Breakthru Fitness in Pasadena.

Dozois said many people do the same old, same old instead of mixing it up, especially women who fear the unknown. So ladies, step off that treadmill and step up onto StepMill.

"I think it's one of the greatest high-intensity, low-impact machines that you can do cardio on," said Dozois.

Cheating is near impossible and it's even hard to read. But to get your calories worth, don't hang on the front board or invert your wrist with a tight grip, because it puts load on your arms instead of the lower half of your body - big mistake.

If you're lucky enough to have a gym that has a VersaClimber, get on board. This machine requires the use of your entire body. The arms have a lot to do, but make sure you're pushing off from the legs. A 135-pound woman can burn 150 calories in just 10 minutes.

The rower is a dust catcher at many gyms. Too bad.

"You're using the upper body, the back, the shoulders, as well as the legs, and a lot of glutes," said Dozois.

Keep your upper body upright and be sure you push all the way back and bring your arms up while squeezing your shoulder blades.

Great for guns is the assisted pull-up machine. Actually, it's great for the whole upper body. But what most women don't know is that the more weight you put on this machine, the easier it becomes.

"If you're nervous about it, put the weight at about what your weight is. You're actually going to feel light as a feather," said fitness expert Michelle Dozois.

Many spend countless hours at the computer, driving or texting, so your upper back muscles get weak and stretched. A seated cable row is a great way to tone the whole upper body package.

The leg press works the entire leg, plus glutes and lower abs. So get on it.

"It's a great way to get a total leg workout and something really simple and safe," said Michelle Dozois.

Finally, the Smith machine is a really versatile piece of equipment.

"You can work your back, you can work your chest, you can work your legs, you can do pull-ups on it," said Phil Dozois.

The bar is on a gliding track, so it is safe to use.

To recap, there's The StepMill, rowing machine, VersaClimber, assisted pull-up machine, seated row, Smith machine and leg press.

See photos of 7 gym machines women should try.

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