Machine Weights (Upper Body)

by PhysioAdvisor Staff

Exercises > Gym Exercises > Machine Weights (Upper Body)

The following gym strengthening exercises are designed to improve the strength of many of the major muscles of the upper body using machine weights. You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.

For those who are untrained, you should begin by performing one or two sets of only a few exercises, with light resistance, working a variety of muscle groups and gradually increase the number of exercises, resistance and sets over a number of sessions provided there are no signs of injury.

For beginners, it is generally advisable to begin with light weights that allow you to perform 20 – 30 repetitions of each exercise with good control, posture and form. Allow approximately 1 minute rest and recovery between exercise sets.

As your endurance and strength improves, aim to gradually increase the number of sets of each exercise over a number of sessions until you are eventually performing 3 – 4 sets of each exercise provided the exercises are pain free. These exercises can then be progressed by gradually increasing the weights used so that fatigue is achieved by 8 – 12 repetitions and by progressing to other unaccustomed exercises provided they are pain free.

Specific requirements may vary between individuals depending on the functional goals they wish to achieve. Your physiotherapist can advise on the most appropriate resistance, sets and repetitions to meet your needs.

Ensure you always perform an appropriate warm up before beginning any strengthening exercises, an appropriate cool down after and ensure you balance recovery periods from training to prevent injury. Generally, it is advisable to perform a selection of the following exercises 1 – 2 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Allow approximately 4 – 7 recovery days before repeating the same exercises, to allow muscle recovery.

Major Muscles of the Upper Body (Anterior)

Figure 1 – Major Muscles of the Upper Body (Anterior)

Major Muscles of the Upper Body (Posterior)

Figure 2 – Major Muscles of the Upper Body (Posterior)


Upper Body Gym Strengthening Exercises Using Machine Weights

 

Chest Press

Major Muscles Used – Pectorals, Triceps, Anterior Deltoid.

Begin this chest strengthening exercise sitting in optimal posture with your back and neck straight and your elbows slightly below the level of your wrist as demonstrated (figure 3). Slowly straighten your elbows until they are straight, tightening the chest (pectoral) muscles, then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 1 – 4 sets of 8 – 30 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Machine Weights - Chest Press

Figure 3 – Chest Press

Bench Press (Smith Machine)

Major Muscles Used – Pectorals, Triceps, Anterior Deltoid.

Begin this chest strengthening exercise lying in optimal posture with your back and neck straight and your hands on the bar slightly further apart than shoulder width as demonstrated (figure 4). Slowly bring the bar down towards your chest and then straighten your elbows tightening the chest (pectoral) muscles and returning to the start position. Perform 1 – 4 sets of 8 – 30 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Machine Weights - Bench Press (Smith Machine)

Figure 4 – Bench Press (Smith Machine)

 

Incline Chest Press

Major Muscles Used – Pectorals (Clavicular Head), Triceps, Anterior Deltoid.

Begin this chest strengthening exercise sitting in optimal posture with your back and neck straight as demonstrated (figure 5). Slowly straighten your elbows until they are straight, tightening the chest (pectoral) muscles, then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 1 – 4 sets of 8 – 30 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Machine Weights - Incline Chest Press

Figure 5 – Incline Chest Press

 


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