Everyone wants to look good; and in America this desire borders on obsession.

Ta king advantage of this, many savvy marketers and gyms push a wide array of exerc ises and â fitnessâ equipment, with tall claims that just a few minutes of use a day wil give you washboard abs, or a tight butt, or whatever. Some of them have proved their usefulness, but a lot of them are clever gimmicks and the benefit they pro vide is more mental than physical. Let us look at a few of them. 1. Seated inner/outer thigh machine These machines are used, mainly by women, in the belief that they will lose fat around the thighs and hips. This is not quite true because, although the machine s do palpate the stabilizer muscles, they donâ t do it in the same way as we use them . The only effective way to have taut thighs is by reducing the overall fat in y our body; and this can be achieved only through regular diet and exercise. 2. Dumbbell exercises Using dumbbells is a popular form of exercise because you can do it at home anyt ime and do not need to schedule a gym visit. Extending your arm behind you while holding a dumbbell, is supposed to get rid of skin flaps on upper arms. However , it does not achieve the twin objectives muscle growth and fat reduction. Trice ps exercises such as dips in front of a step with palms extended backwards are m ore effective. Similarly, a popular aerobics exercise of holding dumbbells up an d out to the side and bringing them in toward your chest works only for the shou lders. To have any impact on your chest muscles, you have to remember that gravi ty isnâ t horizontal; and lie on your back while doing the exercise. 3. Calf-raise equipment Gym equipment that places weight on your shoulders as you rise up e balls of your feet is helpful in developing shapely calves, but use spinal compression. You can achieve almost the same result by ands against the wall, leaning in towards it and raising yourself s of your feet. and down on th it can also ca placing your h up on the ball

4. Leg-extension equipment Lifting a weighted bar with ankles as you straighten the legs in front of you is meant to meant to strengthen your quadriceps â and it does â but it also puts a lot of stress on your knees, which could cause problems later on. Squats and lunges are just as effective in strengthening quadriceps and hamstrings. 5. Ab-strengthening equipment The problem with those seated ab-curl machines at the gym that you have to climb into, is that it is effective only if it is adjusted perfectly for your anatomy . This requires time and knowledge, which are usually in short supply. You can a chieve quite satisfactory results using planks, side planks and ab-curls. The long and short of it is that the gym and aerobics classes are fine for socia lizing, but if the objective is to keep fit, you can save a lot of money by doin g exercises at home with simple equipment.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful