To be honest, I didn't think anyone would want a back exercise machine in their home. It's big, it's bulky, sometimes very ugly and a complete hassle to maintain and operate. Then again, I'm extremely particular about aesthetics, so naturally this big contraption doesn't really appeal to me as much as it does to others, especially guys.
Yes, this machine is particularly popular with men. When I asked a few of my friends why, they said it's because this fitness equipment gives them the athletic V-shaped upper torso look, and therefore love to use it in the gym. Some even have gone ahead to purchase one to use in their convenience of their homes.
Of course, whether they use it diligently or not, is another question altogether.
The slideshow on the right shows you two of such back exercise machines. Now keep in mind that these are the average ones, and I chose to show you the smallest possible models. There are a lot of models, and some are extremely elaborate.
I'd definitely say so. Arnold Schwarzenegger became world champion at 17 and everyone was in awe of how defined and sculpted his back muscles were. When he was interviewed, he told the press that he credited it to a lot of different workouts, all using different TYPES of back machine exercises.
You have to understand that back muscles are one of the most temperamental. Train them wrongly, and you could experience back pain, or in severe cases, lead to slipped disc injuries. It is also extremely risky to train your back muscles haphazardly since the back is where your backbone (which protects your spinal cord) lies in.
One false move could be fatal. There are cases of individuals, especially young teenagers who wanted to achieve that muscular upper torso look and overdid it while using a back exercise machine and they paid for it.. with their lives.
Do you see why I hate gyms?
Okay, I'm kidding, just because I hate gyms does not mean that you should stop using any fitness equipment or exercise machines. They are good, but you need to be very careful about using them, especially back machines. Be sure to seek clarifications with the staff at the gym if you are the slightest bit uncertain about how to operate one.
It's better to be paranoid than to injure yourself.
What I like to do instead, is to use a pull up bar to perform pull ups. The great thing about pull ups is that the risk is a lot lesser, and you train so many more muscle groups.
Doing pull ups trains your arms (both biceps and triceps), chest, back, forearms and even abdominals! On top of that, it gives you that V-shaped look that everyone hunkers after!
If it is difficult for you to perform many repetitions, what you can do is to use a much lower bar and perform inclined pull ups, where you get to prop your body on your heels. As you build up your strength and find that you can do more repetitions, you can start increasing the incline of your body. Before long, you'll be doing standard pull ups!
Just a note though, being able to do 10 inclined pull ups is equivalent to ONE full pull up. The reason for this is because, a full pull up engages in more muscle groups and is a lot more strenuous on your body because your are vertical and OFF the ground.
Don't be disheartened. I used to (when I was 13) not be able to do even one full pull up and inclined ones were torturous enough. I was freaking out because I knew that in a couple of years, I would be serving military training and would be testing on my ability to complete pull ups. With consistent training and a lot of encouragement from my closest friends, I now am able to complete 10-15 repetitions in one set.
If for any reason, you hate performing pull up exercises, what you can do is to try rock climbing. The principles of rock climbing is the same as pull ups. The only difference is that, when you rock climb, you engage your leg muscles as well. Despite that, you can get a lot of workout from rock climbing, more than from using a static back exercise machine.
Please keep in mind that these are just my honest opinions, after trying them out for myself at the gym, doing research on prices, and the benefits of using back machines. Use my opinions as a guide, but remember that everyone's opinions would be different.
The one thing I dislike about having a back exercise machine is the amount of space it takes. Yes, it delivers results, and it will give me a good workout, but the amount of space it takes and the returns doesn't seem to be very favorable.
Another thing that gets me is the price range of such machines. They start at about 300 dollars and can be as steep as 1500 dollars. I'm not sure whether this is a good, worthwhile purchase for that price. You could get something better for that price.
Besides that, I recommend doing pull ups and investing in a decent pull up bar because it is a lot cheaper than purchasing a back exercise machine. As I mentioned before, it trains a lot of muscle groups, it is cheap and since it's just a solid readjustable bar, it means that you can pretty much store it anywhere. Assembly and disassembly can take place in seconds!
I don't have a pull up bar in my home, opting instead to go out and use the various fitness areas that have been set up in my neighborhood. However, I see that getting a pull up bar can be a worthwhile investment to my training, since it trains so much in such a short period of time, makes me look good and the cost is decent.
At the end of the day, only you can decide whether it's worth your time and investment to buy a back exercise machine. As I've mentioned before many times, and I sound like a broken record (I know), but I personally feel that the best investment when it comes to fitness machines are the ones that help you burn fat - cardio machines.
However, do up a pros and cons list and see what you can come up with. Use your list and the arguments that I've listed out here and see whether you should get one. Remember that what I've shared here are my views and opinions. These machines work you guys, but I just don't feel that it's a worthwhile purchase.
Do let me know your experience if you DO decide to get one!
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