If you know me, then you know I workout AT HOME. It is my heavy preference. Getting dressed, packing bags, kids, plus snacks, entertainment, jackets, etc. is my idea of HELL. So, it's probably no shocker to read that I question some of the equipment at the gym.
What you may not know is that I actually like the gym. I enjoy the nice, open spaces, cool air blowing, music blasting, mirrors everywhere and most importantly, class offerings of many local gyms. And I think it's a GREAT escape and change of scenery for a good workout. I'm also a big fan of people watching, so going to the gym would actually be a fairly fun experience for me. I am simply not in a place in my life where it is convenient. So, home workouts for me it is.
However, for MANY of you, the gym is ideal and practical. So, in an effort to streamline your gym experience, let me share with you a few items that you can SKIP during your next gym trip. And when I say "skip," I mean like forever...as in you can completely remove them from your gym radar and avoid every, single, day. Of course, this is based on my opinion...my very professional opinion...which is rooted in more than 12 years as a licensed physical therapist and movement specialist. My education is literally based around where muscles originate, insert, how they are controlled and how they move. So, if I happen to name a favorite machine of yours, just know that you have the right to continue using it forever, but I am probably right. lol. I'm seriously joking...seriously.
The first machine that you can skip at the gym is the (Loaded) Calf Raise Machine.
I understand what the creators of this machine were going for. Load the calves with more than your body weight and go to town pumping those ankles up and down. The problem though, is the fact that the weight is being dispersed first through the shoulders. Depending on how much weight is chosen, that can have very damning effects on the shoulder girdle itself and also the spine. Gravity gives us enough compression in the spine, we do not need to add more. The shoulder is a complicated, complex and fragile structure, so applying a downward force from weight is not the best idea. Tiptoe past this machine and opt instead for unloaded calf raises.