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Fitness

Make the Most of the Weight Machines at Your Gym

This simple what-to-hit, what-to-skip weight routine takes the guesswork out of getting a sexy, sculpted physique at the gym. Consider this your guide to the best machines in the weight room.
Lateral Raise Machine

Target: Shoulders (middle)

Why it's key: Unlike the shoulder press, a lateral raise -- one in which arms are lifted out to the sides -- really targets the round part of your shoulder, which gives your upper arm a sculpted look.

How to use it: Raise your arms to shoulder level, parallel to the floor -- no higher, so you don't impinge on the shoulder joint -- then lower them to where elbows don't quite touch the body. "This keeps tension directly on the shoulder muscles throughout the rep," says Michael Esco, PhD, assistant professor of exercise science at Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama. "If elbows touch the body, you're taking the tension off."

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