Im not gonna tell you to give up free weights but hear this, these five machines build more muscle than there free weight versions.
Preacher Curl: Biceps curls with free weights are super effective at building up your guns, which is why we use them as staple exercises in our arm building programs. However, there’s one disadvantage all free weight and cable biceps curl variations have that a machine doesn’t gravity!
Reverse Peck Deck: Ever notice that when most people do rear-delt flyes with dumbbells they end up swinging (cheating) a bit? That’s because if you grab a weight that fits your strength during the initial part of the rear-delt flye, it’s going to be too heavy when you get your arms get to the point that they are parallel with the floor. It is at that point in the movement that your lever arm is at its longest.
Peck Deck: This exercise has a lot of the same benefits as reverse pec-deck given that both are inverse motions. When doing pec-flyes using dumbbells, you get the tension at the bottom (stretched) position, but get less and less the closer you come to the top position as your arms move above your shoulders. But when using the pec-deck, you get even tension (due to the CAM system) throughout the entire range of motion even when your arms are directly in front of your shoulders. This allows you to hit your pecs in a manner that dumbbells don’t allow.
Shoulder Lateral Raise Machine: I have found this machine to be more effective at putting on some serious shoulder caps than its free weight counterpart for the very same reason I’ve already shared on the previous three exercises I listed. Even at the bottom position, when your arms are by your sides, your delts are working against the machine. Whereas in the dumbbell version, your arms are just hanging there and your shoulders are relaxed.
High Row Machine: We at Performance U like this machine simply because the movement feels very natural and allows you to perform a diagonal/arch-like compound pulling motion. Think about it, most pulling exercise are either vertically oriented (chin ups, lat pulls, etc.) or horizontally oriented (bent over rows, seated rows, T-bar, etc.) But, the hammer strength high row machine is kind of in the middle. It’s like the incline press for the back. It’s not a bench press and it’s not a shoulder press. It’s somewhere in the middle. In other words, this machine allows us to hit the back in such a way that’s hard to match with other exercises.