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The 5 Best Machines for Women

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4. Smith Machine

Basic move: Chest Press
Targets: pectorals, triceps

The chest press is an incredibly effective way to work several muscles at once. It looks a little scary at first, but the Smith has a safety net -- if the weight should suddenly feel too heavy, you can plant the bar in the nearest set of holes on the frame. You can also use the Smith for standing moves like squats or lunges with weights.

Place 5-pound weight plates on both ends of bar. Lie on the bench with chest directly beneath bar, feet flat on floor. Grip bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, palms forward, and unhook bar; straighten arms. Bend elbows until they're just below shoulder height, then press back up. On last rep, bend wrists to set bar back on hooks.

Challenge yourself: You can work more of your upper-chest muscles by doing the exercise on an incline bench positioned at 45 degrees.

Next:  5. Shoulder Press


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cunspooki wrote:

I think as the article says you should not do the same excersizes over and over. So mixing machines and the excersizes you mentioned have strong benefits.

9/4/2010 08:50:00 PM Report Abuse
jillyany wrote:

I've heard conflicting advice on strength training - this article promotes using some weight machines, but I've also heard that using free weights and doing squats, lunges etc without machines is best, because you do work those stabilizing muscles at the same time. Wondering what others have heard or experienced?

4/14/2010 07:06:30 PM Report Abuse

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