You’re ready to step up your workout routine, but you see all those machines and just aren’t sure what they do. The gym jitters start to take over.
There’s no doubt about it—whether you’re heading to the gym or looking to create your own home gym—putting a workout regiment together and memorizing all of the equipment can be intimidating.
Especially if you don’t know the names of different gym machines or which muscle groups they work.
We get it.
Wouldn’t it be nice if every gym came with a “how-to” guide for the different machines in the building?
That’s why we created this guide. We’re going to help you identify:
- Some of the most common gym machine names
- How they are used, and
- The types of exercises you can do on each of the machines we discuss.
Table of Contents
- 3 Names of Gym Machines For Arms
- #1: Chest Press Machine
- #2: Lat Pull-Down Machine
- #3: Cable Machine
- 3 Examples Of A Gym Leg Machine
- #1: Leg Extension Machine
- #2: Hip Abduction Machine
- #3:Seated Leg Curl Machine
- Why It’s Important To Be Familiar With Gym Equipment Machines Names
- How In Motion O.C. Can Help You Get To Know Gym Machine Names
3 Names of Gym Machines For Arms
You’ve used the common machines for your upper body workouts—the row machine, the pullup bar, and your go-to for all your cardio needs, the elliptical—but now, you’re looking for new options.
Keep reading to learn the names of different gym machines that work your arms as well as other muscle groups at the same time.
For each of these gym machines named, we want you to keep in mind that doing two to three sets of 10-15 reps is ideal for each machine that you use.
#1: Chest Press Machine
This gym machine’s name can be deceiving. The chest press is actually a machine that works multiple muscles in your upper body, including your:
- Pectorals—your chest muscles
- Deltoids—your shoulder muscles
- Triceps—your upper arm muscles
In order to get the best results, it is vital that when using this machine (as well as any gym machine) you use proper form and learn good technique.
Gym machine names vary, for instance, the chest press machine is also commonly referred to as a:
- Machine press
- Seated machine press, or
- Seated chest press
A chest press is the upright version of the bench press machine.
Chest press machines are used to build both muscle tissue and upper body strength which is needed to do daily activities like pushing open heavy doors. The chest press machine allows you to lift heavier weights with more control.
It’s important that when using a chest press machine, you keep a few things in mind, like:
- Proper seat height is vital. You want to have your feet touching the floor and your hands to be in line with your chest when you’re holding the chest press machine’s handles.
- How much weight should you use? We always recommend starting light and adding on later—form is the most important thing to learn first. The weight should be heavy enough that your muscles are feeling fatigued after 10-15 reps, but you don’t want the weight to be so much that you can’t complete the exercise properly.
- How do I use the chest press machine? Start by pushing the handles of the machine forward until your arms are straight. Pause, then bend your elbows while slowly returning to your starting position.
- Rest between sets. Don’t rush, take a minute break in between sets.
#2: Lat Pull-Down Machine
Gym machine names are minimally descriptive. For instance, the lat pull-down machine. Although the name gives users a clue that the machine focuses on working your latissimus dorsi, a muscle in your lower back, it doesn’t tell you that it actually is a compound exercise machine.
What does that mean?
It means it works on multiple muscle groups at one time.
If used correctly, the lat pull-down machine also works your:
- Rhomboids—the muscles that pull your shoulder blades together
- Posterior deltoid—one of the three main muscles in your shoulders
- Triceps, and
That’s the beauty of a workout that’s properly done: You’re working muscles without even realizing it—until you feel it the following day.
A lat pull-down machine is often used as a precursor to help people learn how to correctly do push-ups and chin-ups. This is because the motions required by the lat pull-down machine are very similar to those in push-ups or chin-ups.
If you are trying to improve your upper body strength, the lat pull-down machine is a great option to use during your workout routine.
Plus, you’ll stabilize the spine by strengthening the latissimus dorsi — improving your overall fitness.
#3: Cable Machine
Cable machines are gym machines with adjustable cable pulleys. The resistance of the pulleys allows you to perform a variety of exercises. The cable machine you’re using may have one to two cable stations, others may have multiple cable stations.
If you’re looking for a way to work your…
- Chest muscles
- Back muscles
- Abdominal muscles
- Leg muscles, and
…the cable machine is the ideal gym machine to try.
Here are two of the top exercises you can do on this machine that target your upper body:
- The standing shoulder press
- The cable chest fly
Because this machine works a multitude of muscle groups and is looked at as a “one-stop-shop” for increasing muscle mass, it is ideal for beginners—once you understand how to use it.
3 Examples Of Gym Leg Machine Names
Treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals can be very beneficial, but what if you’re looking for a new way to work more specific areas of your legs?
In the following sections, we’ll touch on some of the most common leg machines and which muscles will benefit the most from using them.
#1: Leg Extension Machine
There are dozens of leg machines you can use to work your lower body, but one of the best ones to use is the leg extension machine.
This machine may also be referred to as the knee extension machine and comes in all shapes and sizes.
While many people are familiar with the machine, they don’t know how to properly use it.
Unlike other gym machines, this leg machine works more isolated areas, specifically your quads and your calves—and there isn’t a mixture of ways to use the machine.
And here’s the thing:
Proper form is key to successfully and safely using this gym machine. Namely, your knee joints and the muscles that stabilize your knee need to be protected. This is because the leg extension machine creates an imbalance on your quads vs your hamstring muscles.
So take your time getting familiar with the machine, and if you have any questions, or are unsure of how to use it, <strong>make sure you ask questions.
Another important tip: Make sure the roller is comfortable at the front of your ankles, not your shins.
#2: Hip Abduction Machine
For many, the hip abduction machine looks a little out of place at the gym — some might even say it looks like it belongs in the doctor’s office. And this gym machine’s name doesn’t really describe the muscles that it works.
What muscles does the hip abduction machine work?
The main purpose of this machine is to work your outer leg muscles and your glutes.
Most people who use this machine are looking to…
- Gain muscle mass in their glutes, or
- Work on strengthening their glutes
…but we must advise you to be cautious if you’re interested in using this machine. Men’s Journal actually ranked this machine as one of the worst leg machines to use, unless you have concerns regarding:
If any of the listed concerns are something you are worried about, and you still feel like you need to work your glutes, the seated hip abduction machine might be the right fit for you.
If you’re still unsure, feel free to connect with one of In Motion O.C.’s physical therapists. We can help you decide if using a machine, like the abduction machine, or any other gym machine would be beneficial to your workout.
We’re ready to get you started on your fitness journey, connect with us for a consultation today.
#3: Seated Leg Curl Machine
Leg curls are another one of those exercises that don’t work many other muscles. They primarily target two muscle groups:
- The calf muscles—the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles
- The hamstrings—the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and the semimembranosus muscles
Increasing the development of your hamstrings is vital to any training program because it can help:
- Stabilize the hip joints, keeping your spine aligned
- Improve athletic performance
- Prevent injury — your hamstrings are generally weaker than your quads, which can lead to ACL ruptures and other injuries.
Which are better, seated leg curls or lying leg curls?
Both. Lying leg curls target the outer hamstrings (the biceps femoris) while seated leg curls target the inner sides of the hamstrings that we mentioned previously.
Top tips for seated leg curls:
- Make sure you aren’t using too much weight. The goal isn’t to swing your body up and down for momentum in order to do a leg curl.
- This goes for just about any exercise, but to prevent hamstring tears, or any tears, be sure to stretch in between sets.
Why It’s Important To Be Familiar With Gym Equipment Machines Names
Not only is becoming familiar with gym equipment machine names and uses important for weight loss, increased muscle mass, and your overall health, it’s also vital that you learn about the machines to keep yourself safe.
Some of the most common exercise-related injuries that happen because of…
- Improper form
- Lifting too much weight too quickly, and
- Not resting
…could be prevented by taking the time to become familiar with gym equipment machine names, how they work, and how to properly use each machine.
Plus, you’ll gain some confidence when it comes to your workout routines—and who doesn’t want to walk into and out of the gym confidently and without hurting themselves?
How In Motion O.C. Can Help You Get To Know Gym Machine Names
Instead of spending hours researching the different gym machine names and their uses—and hoping you understand how to use them when you head to the gym—let our trainers at In Motion O.C. help you get acquainted with using different gym machines.
Our highly trained staff can help you build a workout routine based on your personal needs and that gets you results.
Ready to get started with a new fitness program? Schedule a consultation with one of our staff members today.