You visit to the local gym and feel like you are entering the matrix: a lot of equipment and you are not sure if you understand how to use them or what gym equipment names. In this article, we will look at what types of equipments are in the gym, what is name of gym equipments, how to use them and what are working muscles involved in exercises .
Below you will find reviews of the most popular sports equipment of their types, what they are for and how to use each of them for maximum results. All descriptions are accompanied by a photo of the equipment itself, the muscle groups that they pump and a video with the correct exercise technique.
We have compiled this equipment usage guide to provide detailed information on all types of fitness equipment in one place and how to use them. This guide will help you design an effective exercise program.
- Power frame
- Bench press
- Incline Bench Press
- Hammer – lever trainer
- Pull-up bar
- Upper block
- Leg Extension Machine
- Leg curl machine
- Hyperextension simulator
- Smith Trainer
- Bicep bench (Scott’s shop)
- Abdominal trainer
- Leg press platform
- GACK Squat Trainer
- Calf Trainer
- Leg Conversion and Raising Machine
- Butterfly breast trainer
- Crossfit ball
- Foam Roller
Popular gym equipment, their purpose and working muscles
Description: In the case of squatting exercises. In fitness and strength training, this exercise trains your entire body. All serious training programs should include this machine.
Pro Tip: Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Squatting so low is essential for proper execution and ultimately building strong core, leg and back muscles.
Try to keep your knees at the level of your toes, your glutes should bend as you squat. Don’t arch your back, keep your head up, and tighten your abs to make the squat easier.
The position of your legs should be slightly wider than the width of your hip joint, and both legs should be slightly outward.
Working Muscles: Squats are aimed primarily at the hips, joints, glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
Additional part to the squat rack. The barbell is an essential element for strength training, it holds free weights or sometimes weight (plates) is attached to its ends.
Pro Tip: The barbell is arguably the most versatile of all gym equipment. You can do hundreds of different exercises with these iron bars.
A common technique used in barbell exercise is good posture and keeping your body from swaying; to keep your body stable, such as when exercising on a machine.
Because it’s so easy to cheat and wiggle your body to make the exercise easier, so when using the bar in this way comes a word of caution – injury.
It is imperative to remain careful when performing exercises with the barbell, especially when lifting it from the floor or vice versa, since it is at this moment that the risk of injury is especially high!
Working muscles: Almost all muscles are involved in barbell training, especially when doing deadlifts. For a better understanding of which exercises to do and which muscles they affect, check out the Hundreds of Barbell Exercises (link) and try them the next time you’re in the gym.
Description: Used for an upper body workout exercise where you lift the weight up while lying on your back. Do you want perfect breasts? To do this, use this particular simulator.
Pro Tip: When doing chest presses, don’t arch your back, this means your legs are too low. Try not to pull the barbell away from your chest, even if you think it makes you super macho.
Also, do not lower the barbell over your neck or abdomen as this can seriously harm you as you are overweight and lose control, even momentarily.
Finally, do not lock your elbows when the bar is fully raised, keep your head, legs and back straight.
Working muscles: Biceps, triceps, latissimus dorsi, chest, upper back. There are many techniques for performing chest presses, but there are 3 of the most important ones: a narrow grip, a wide grip and a narrow grip with the elbows inward.
Incline Bench Press
Description: This is essentially an elevated bench press, but the elevation affects the muscles used.
Pro Tip: Common mistakes people tend to make when pressing an incline bench are: setting the bench at an acute angle (more than 50 degrees), arching the back, moving the bar off the chest, fixing the elbows.
Try to avoid the above mistakes by keeping your body straight and keeping the bench tilted at an angle below 50 degrees.
Finally, the position of your thumb is important. Grip the bar with your thumbs as opposed to the rest for a more natural grip and safer for lifting.
Working Muscles: The upper chest is tilted, as are the shoulders and triceps. Also, instead of a barbell, dumbbells are often used.
Hammer – lever trainer
Description: Favorite trainer among athletes, focuses on explosive strength.
Pro Tip: When using the machine, do not overload your triceps. Also, avoid locking your elbows when lifting weights, and also try to maintain equal strength in your arms.
Working Muscles: Different lever machines target different muscle groups. First of all, the chest, then the shoulders and triceps, trapeze, etc.
Description: A very diverse machine in terms of the number of exercises and their types that can be performed by attaching the handles to the end of the cables.
Pro Tip: When using the machine, it is very important to use the correct weight. If you are underweight, you will not work effectively; if you are overweight, you will overextend your muscles, which can lead to injury.
There are many different types of exercises that you can do with this machine. Such as the bench press that affects your trapezoid, shoulders, and triceps. There is also a one-handed crossover, which also affects the trapezoid and shoulders, but also the biceps.
All of these types of exercises make the machine one of the most powerful machines you can ever use.
Working Muscles: The connected design and versatility allows every muscle in the body to be substantially affected. The example below demonstrates a cable crossover exercise for the chest and shoulders.
Description: The first machine that most people think of when they hear about “bodybuilding”. Different weights, but the same concept, handles with pancakes on opposite sides. An integral part of any training program. There are even dumbbells with adjustable weights.
Pro Tip: There are many advantages to dumbbells, mostly they are not expensive compared to other machines. But when used correctly, they can offer as much, if not more, than some of the more lucrative equipment.
When you work with dumbbells, try not to lock your elbows and do not force yourself to do the last few reps unless you have a friend or insurer in the gym.
Dumbbells make you work other muscles, even if you train some primary ones; this is because your body is in balance and all stabilizer muscles come into play.
Muscles to Build: You can build good muscles with dumbbells. These exercises work for the biceps, shoulders, and triceps. Muscles that you can train with dumbbells: chest, shoulders, traps, biceps, latissimus dorsi, glutes, quads, tendons, and calves.
Description: The best tool for exercising and strengthening the upper body. You can pull up with any grip, although the palm-inward grip is the most popular. Different grips and hand positions affect different muscle groups. You raise your body until your chin is over the horizontal bar.
Pro Tip: Pull-ups are very difficult, especially for beginners. This is why you must master them. They are really good, and yes, very difficult. Train the upper body.
When doing the exercise, your movements should be vertical, even and full. After a while, if you become an expert at this, you will be able to load your lower back with weights for added resistance.
If you’re a beginner, you might want to start with an upper block deadlift machine that builds your muscles and prepares them for pull-ups.
Common mistakes: Doing the exercise quickly, with uneven movements, rocking the body, bending the torso forward to get help from the pectoral muscles, bending the knees for a push.
Finally, do not fully extend your arms when moving down.
Working Muscles: Torso, arms, shoulders, abs, pelvic muscles, arms and forearms. Different types of pull-ups affect different muscle groups. There are several of the most common types of pull-ups: neck, torso, internal grip, wide grip.
Description: Used to strengthen the latissimus dorsi, or wings, as they are called. Pull the weight towards you, keeping your elbows and back straight. Google Bruce Lee’s picture and you’ll see the wings you can achieve with this machine.
Pro Tips: This may seem counterintuitive to some people, but don’t push the bar down towards your stomach; if you do, it means you are underweight.
Avoid bending your torso for help from your chest and abs, and complete all movements while using the machine. Your grip should not be too wide, and it should be even.
Working Muscles: Upper and lower back. Partially biceps and latissimus dorsi (as can be seen from the name of the machine).
Leg Extension Machine
Description: Lift the weight with your quads, keeping it straight for a couple of seconds. This machine is suitable if you are recovering from an injury or are simply trying to strengthen your quads.
Pro Tips: Avoid turning your hips when lifting or lowering weights. Avoid jerky movements just to accelerate, remember that form beats everything else in bodybuilding.
Flexing and / or straightening the leg does not alter the work done by the quadriceps.
Working Muscles: Quads, glutes.
Leg curl machine
Description: Lying on your stomach and looking at the floor, raise your legs to your lower back. Squeeze your legs up and hold for a few seconds, feel the compression in the hamstrings. A good trainer for toning muscles and building strength in the legs.
Pro Tip: In addition to lying leg curls, some of the more popular exercises are toes in, toes out, one leg, standing, and sitting.
The most common mistakes are: pulling the knees off as you drop the weight, lifting the weight too fast to speed up the execution, or placing the knees out of line.
Interestingly, this machine (both recumbent and standing) is more specific and safer, but just as effective as the bent-over barbell row (deadlift) when it is directed at the hamstrings.
Even if the machine uses less weight, on the other hand, the bent-over row works with more weight, but this is due to the fact that you are also training other muscles.
Working Muscles: Biceps femoris, hamstrings, gracilis, sartorius, calf, popliteal.
Description: With the machine in an angled position, face down, move your upper body up and down. It is not uncommon to do chest weights to increase intensity, but be careful as haste can lead to injury.
Pro Tips: When doing the exercise, especially if you are using free weights for extra resistance, make sure you don’t lift your torso too high. Also, don’t jump when picking up revs, take your time and be in shape.
It is considered dangerous to twist when you are lifting and lifting your torso, and also to relax your hip on the cushion of the machine without the ability to bend.
Hyperextension is a good way to train your lower back. Plus, it’s a fairly simple exercise and new to the gym shouldn’t have any problems.
Working Muscles: Erector spine, quadratus lumbar muscle, iliocostal muscle, latissimus dorsi, spinous, polypartum, gluteus maximus, hamstrings. Basically, the gluteal muscles and hamstrings.
Description: Holding the handles (one in each hand), lower and raise your body. It is important to stay in good shape to avoid any kind of shoulder injury.
This is a great alternative to the head-down bench press, but the parallel bars require more strength. Therefore, while it is not generally recommended for beginners, ease of implementation is not hindered.
When you do push-ups, it will seem to you that the triceps are doing all the work and all the load goes to them. However, it is very important to focus on the pectoral muscles too.
You should feel a stretch as you push up and then a squeeze as you lift your body. Always do this exercise slowly unless you are a professional athlete. Finally, avoid exercising if you have injured your elbow or shoulder.
Working Muscles: Shoulders, triceps, lower chest. Push-ups can be performed with or without weight, keeping the body upright.
Description: An exercise machine that helps with squatting with a barbell. Think of it as a squat rack when you don’t have anyone to help you with the exercise. A very good trainer for squatting practice. If you have injured your back, then you should use a Smith machine to strengthen it.
Pro Tips: There are many exercises to perform on the Smith machine that may appear to be the same as on other machines. But remember that it is when working with it that you can do many of the above exercises.
The trainer helps you by keeping the selected weight constant so that you can pick it up from any position.
The main advantage of the simulator is that you can train in the gym on your own when you have no one to hedge, but you want to be safe; just twist and lock the bar. It is ideal for squatting alone due to the balance provided by the machine.
One of the benefits of the exercise machine can also be a disadvantage if you’re not careful. It provides balance, which can make you want to lock your elbows when lifting the barbell. Try to avoid this.
Working Muscles: When using the machine, all muscle groups can be used. One of the more popular exercises is the standing press (military press), shown below. Focuses on training shoulders, triceps and traps.
Bicep bench (Scott’s shop)
Description: When seated, the bench helps isolate and train your biceps. Ideal for beginners to start training biceps by using a lighter barbell and lifting it up and down, or reducing weight.
Pro Tip: Sit on a bench, place your armpits at the top of the machine, and rest your biceps on a pillow. Follow this technique regardless of the exercise you are doing.
Contrary to popular belief, this exercise is not excellent at building biceps peaks. But it prevents you from “cheating” while exercising and provides precise muscle compression.
Do not stretch your arm too far, as this can cause injury. Also, do not move your body when lowering the weight. Most importantly, do not use too much weight and do not combine this with excessive lowering of the barbell or dumbbell down.
Working Muscles: Biceps, shoulder, forearms.
Description: Designed for the press. Similar to the hyperextension trainer. It is important to practice and stay in good shape with this machine. Especially if you decide to train with extra weight.
Pro Tip: Doing this exercise forces your hips to flex, which attracts the muscles working in that area, particularly the lower back and front of the quadriceps.
So it’s not as specific as just pumping your abs, so make sure you can feel the muscles because more than one muscle group should be involved in the exercise.
Several types of squats to try are: curl, weighted, incline bench, upright bench.
Working Muscles: Abs (rectus abdominis). Also internal and external abdominal muscles, lumbar, quadriceps, transverse abdominal (pyramidal).
Leg press platform
Description: The main leg trainer. Lying on your back, lift the platform up without straightening your joints.
Pro Tip: This machine is just as good as the squat machine because it strengthens and develops muscles, while the machine is also good for protecting your back by keeping it in a certain position.
The most common mistakes that are made when working with a simulator: lifting the hips while losing weight. It is also recommended that you avoid fixing your knees while your legs are fully extended.
Incomplete and / or exaggerated movement will also not lead to effective training. Finally, avoid using too much or too little weight, and be sure to lift the platform evenly with both feet.
Working Muscles: Quadriceps, gluteus maximus, adductors, hamstrings.
GACK Squat Trainer
Description: Combines the leg press and squat machine. Another good trainer to use on leg day.
Pro Tip: Common mistakes that are made when using the machine are squatting too low with a heavy load, which is called a deep squat.
Another mistake is fixing the knees when lifting weights up. This is dangerous because you are directing the weight onto the ligaments instead of loading the leg muscles. In addition to this, if you push unevenly, it also leads to poor form.
The gluteal muscles are the longest and strongest in our body, so you need to use really heavy weights to develop them. Interestingly enough, they are not used when walking, check if in doubt!
Working Muscles: Glutes, quads, adductor, hamstrings, lower back and spine.
Description: Use your toes to lift the weight up with your feet. There are different types of exercise machines, but the one in the picture above is the most common.
Pro Tip: Correct execution involves sitting with knees bent at right angles on toes on a footrest. Keep your heels free while exercising.
Raise your heels as high as possible, press on the pillows as much as possible. Once you reach the maximum height, hold it for a few seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. Also remember to breathe naturally as you exercise.
Do not jump without keeping the weight under control, and avoid lifting one leg when completing the set. Remove the weight first, then the legs.
Working Muscles: Mainly calves. Secondary muscles include: peroneus longus and peroneus short, gastrocnemius, tibial and plantar muscles.
Leg Conversion and Raising Machine
Description: Open and close your legs, pushing weight resistance outward. The most popular leg trainer among women, ideal for training legs and buttocks.
Pro Tips: This is a very specific exercise for the adductors, partly for the large adductors. The simulator is good for both beginners and professionals.
To avoid injury, make sure you warm up well before using the machine.
Never be in a hurry and do the exercise slowly, as making sudden movements can damage your muscles.
As soon as you warm up, using the machine, avoid these mistakes: working underweight, spreading your legs too wide, doing the exercise too quickly.
Working Muscles: Adductors of the thigh, mainly. Secondary muscles: gluteus maximus, comb, thin, square thigh muscle, external obturator, iliopsoas, hamstrings.
Butterfly breast trainer
Description: This type of trainer is designed for isolation exercises and chest workouts. A favorite for aspiring bodybuilders as it has a unique movement that is fun to perform.
Pro Tip: For proper use of the machine, sit with your elbows back at a 90 degree angle at mid-chest level. Then bring your hands together in front of your face.
Breathe in when bringing your arms together, as much as you have flexibility (but be careful when working with heavy weights), exhale when you open your arms.
Common mistakes include moving too small or too large. Small ones reduce the effect of the exercise, while large ones can lead to injury. Do not separate your elbows from the planks.
Working Muscles: Pectorals (pectoralis major) and shoulders (deltoids).
Description: Kettlebells have become very popular in the fitness world, there are many exercises that you can do with kettlebells. Fitness enthusiasts use them for strength or cardio training. Watch a video on the different ways to use the kettlebell.
Working Muscles: Many muscle groups. Depends on the exercise you choose.
Description: Combine with the squat by throwing and catching it. Repeat over and over. Ideal for those who are focused or looking to incorporate cardio and aerobic exercise into their routine.
Working Muscles: Legs, core muscles, pecs, shoulders, abs.
Description: Ideal trainer for relieving muscle pain, sprains and increasing flexibility. The best way to use the Foam Roller is to include it in your program, it will reduce the stress on the body and help it circulate.
Working Muscles: All. But you can also choose between muscle groups.
Description: The most versatile tool for fitness enthusiasts. There are many ball-handling exercises. A great way to use the machine is injury recovery, stretching, balance. Usually fitness enthusiasts have such a ball in their home gyms, or simply use it at home at any suitable moment.
Working Muscles: All muscle groups can be used when working with a fitball.
Guide to master your sports equipment
The good news is that when you learn all the names and types of machines, you will be relieved of the initial shock and fright. The more you learn, the less fear of choosing the wrong machine or being ridiculed.
This guide will help you become familiar with the all popular gym equipment names and you will be equipped with the knowledge of the most popular equipment and related workouts. With it, you will also be prepared to even build your own gym if you rent or own a home with spacious rooms.
Important things to remember when using gym equipment
It is important to have a clear understanding of the equipment in your gym or when building it, as this will help you achieve the desired results in bodybuilding and fitness.
Another important thing worth mentioning is that proper form when using these machines cannot be overstated. When choosing between more weight on the machine and maintaining the correct position with less weight, always choose the second option based on your fitness level.
This will help you achieve better results, but more importantly, avoid injury.
Now you are all completely ready for the gym!
Using this guide of gym equipment names, you can now confidently determine the name of the machine, and from the above list, you will also get an idea of the cost of the machines when building your own gym.
We hope you find this guide handy and we expect you to use it in your fitness routine. As always, let us know if we missed out on anything that you feel should be here!