Exercising at home is a great way to get into shape, but your standard bench press and exercise balls can’t compete with our Olathe gym’s machines. Here are three exceptional pieces of on-site equipment that all of our SunPoint Fitness members can utilize to help sculpt their dream bodies.
Life Fitness Back Extension Bench – Photo: shop.lifefitness.com
The Proper Way to Exercise with a Lower Back Extension Bench
Like your core, lower back muscles—especially the extensor, flexor, and oblique muscles—are the structural supports for your spine. Any hinged action you take necessitates the use of each of these muscle groups, so it’s incredibly important to keep them in shape. As counterintuitive as it may seem, movement is the best medicine (aside from initial rest) for a strained back, and training those back muscles is key if you want to avoid those painful aches we all hate.
At SunPoint Fitness, our fitness coaches recommend performing back hyperextensions on a lower back extension bench twice per week and at the beginning of your workout. If you’re recovering from injuries or just starting out at our gym, do two 10-rep sets for the first two weeks, or until you feel confident in your strength. Then graduate to two sets of 15 reps, increasing your sets and rep count gradually from there.
For a more invigorating lower back workout, add a light dumbbell or weight into your routine. Hold a 5- or 10-lb weight to your chest while performing your sets, and increase the weight when you’re able to. Train at your own pace, but also push yourself when you know your body can handle the extra load!
Back Extension Machine Tutorial:
Insignia Series Lateral Raise – Photo: lifefitness.com
The Key to Defined Deltoids is at the Lateral Raise Machine
Although we still use dumbbells regularly for shoulder workouts, they can be cumbersome to wield and pose a safety hazard when paired with a set of sweaty palms. Instead, simulate the side lateral exercise on a more refined piece of equipment, and your delts and traps will thank you.
When exercising in our Olathe gym, you’ll have access to several Life Fitness Lateral Raise benches that will make it simpler to broaden those shoulders. To start, select an appropriate weight load, then adjust the seat height until your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle and your lap is parallel to the floor. Sit and face the lateral pads with a slightly relaxed back, plant the top of your forearms under the pads, and move your arms upward as you would with a dumbbell raise.
Our personal trainers recommend doing low-weight lateral raises at least three times per week to build up muscle strength and endurance. Three sets of 10 to 12 reps are ideal, but if you can only manage one set at first, you’ll still benefit from the repetitions. If you’d like to build more muscle mass, up the weight to about 80% of your one-rep max, and perform three sets of 3 to 5 reps. You’ll have some fierce traps and deltoids in no time.
Of course, no one body is alike, and our trainers know that. Every member of SunPoint Fitness is provided a customized exercise plan that’s built specifically for their physique, fitness level, and goals. Take the guesswork out of your lateral raise workouts, and come into our gym near Kansas City instead.
Lateral Raise Bench Tutorial:
Life Fitness Signature Series Dual Adjustable Pulley – Photo: lifefitness.com
3 Workouts to Perform on a Dual Adjustable Pulley (DAP) Machine
Perhaps the most versatile piece of equipment in the world, let alone our SunPoint Fitness gym, is the DAP, or Dual Adjustable Pulley machine. With it, you can simulate just about any resistance-based exercise in one 30-square-foot block of space. Here are three of our favorite workouts to perform on the DAP.
- Standing Row– Face toward the machine and position the cable pulleys in the center of the vertical bars. Grab the pulley handles and perform a rowing motion. For beginners, start with three sets of 10-15 reps each. This will define your side deltoids, trapezius, and biceps, while also giving you more pronounced pecs in the process.
- Squat Press– Place the pulleys at the lowest position and set the weights at your own comfort level. Facing away from the machine, grab the handles and bring them up above and behind your shoulders, with your palms facing upward. Perform a standard squat, but as you rise, push your arms straight up. That, my friends, is a quintessential Squat Press using a cable system, and it works out just about every muscle group in your body.
- Hip Flexion– One of the most overlooked muscle groups is the hip flexor. A stiff hip flexor can often be the cause of significant pelvic and back pain, but a DAP machine can keep it in shape. Place the pulleys at the base of the machine and face outward. Wrap the handle around your heel and slowly kick up with a straight leg to engage the side flexor.
Watch this tutorial to see what else can be done on a dual action pulley machine.
Sign Up for Personal Training at SunPoint Fitness
You have the drive to make a change, even if shifting into first gear is difficult. Let our Kansas City personal trainers get you there. With our state-of-the-art facility and equipment, and the help of our fitness gurus, change is just around the corner. Contact us at 913-945-1661 today!
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