5 Machines to steer clear from at the gym! vol. 1

Editors note: Please welcome my dude and personal trainer Barrington B. who will be a regular contributor on streetztalk to drop fitness and health knowledge! Time for us to #BeBetter! Enjoy and show him love!


You walk into the gym and now it’s time to be EFFICIENT and SAFE! If your first guess is …hmm… THE MACHINES!

Let me let you in on a little secret…NO. This may not be your best bet. Did you know, more injuries come from machines and not free weights. But why? Well for one “restricted movement patterns aren’t always safe” (but that’s another post).

Today I, Barrington B. Personal Trainer and owner of Barrington B-Fitness, LLC. based out of NYC am going to list 5 machines to steer clear from. From a safety point of view and also a workout efficiency point of view. I call it “5 machines to steer clear from at the gym” vol. 1. Enjoy.

# 5 The Smith Machine

You know the machine with the barbell attached to it to make it “safe” for you to do squats and bench presses, ALLEGEDLY.

3 Cons for you:

a. You don’t work your smaller stabilizer muscles when using a fixed bar. In other words you are not maximizing your strength and are having a less effective workout.
b. Because you are not training these smaller stabilizer muscles you have now INCREASED your risk of injury outside of the gym when doing pretty much anything physical in that motion/direction of movement.

c. This machine teaches you poor form. No movement is strictly up and down (bench press) or if you’re squatting your feet should not be in front of you with an upright back. Movement is free in nature this machine fails to adhere to that.

Be Better…use the regular POWER RACK or free weights as they are your best and SAFER bet.

#4 Adductor/Abductor Machine

The let me show my crotch machine -___-.

I mean the one that works your inner thighs and outer thighs, ALLEGEDLY.

Guess what it doesn’t work. In actuality you’re using interior hip rotators more than anything else (that’s that burn you feel) and we can’t really see those muscles from an aesthetic point of view.

Be Better…Do some Squats (and other variations of squats) and make sure your knees don’t buckle towards each other and you’ll hit the muscles you’re trying to hit.

#3 The ever famous…LEG EXTENSION MACHINE!

^^^^^ WTH is he smiling about.

Ok Ok Ok.. I know you feel it in your Quads and a lot of bodybuilders use them. But the pros vs cons scale is HEAVY on the CONS side.

Unless you are rehabbing a knee injury, have been on bed rest or not using ANY LOAD/Weight. I have two words for you… stay off.

A. Every time you lift you stretch your ACL. A vital ligament which hmmm does NOT like to be stretched!

B. Loading and moving ONLY from your knee joint puts extreme pressure on the back of your patella aka kneecap at its thinest areas —————> CRACK!

C. I have A LOT more CONS if you would like but decided those two should suffice and turn you away. Be Better.

#2 The AB Crunch Machine

OH NO and now they come in all different colors, sizes and pretty names with infomercials…NOOOO!!!!!

Every time I see someone adding load to their spine to do a crunch or doing a crunch on a machine in general I cringe. Why? B/c I just know one day I’m going to have to help that individual until the EMT’s arrive.

Seriously, IT DOESNT WORK! It puts enormous amounts of BAD pressure on your spine for nothing! Be Better… do your cardio, planks and other SAFE ab movements to get those desired abs.



^^^ Say a prayer for his Spine.

Take a second and look at this movement… Your upper body going in two different directions while your lower body stays put/fixed.

Honestly, it looks like a machine Jigsaw would use from the SAW movie series. Your spine is screaming folks get off this machine!!!!!!!!

Does it help give you your six pack abs, NO. Ice pack for your back, YES. & maybe even a brace!!!

There you have it now don’t let me catch any of you on one of those machines or else…actually… I won’t have to do anything you’re already hurting yourself.


-Barrington B.

FOLLOW: Twitter.com/BarringtonBFit

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  1. krystllyght says:

    Good post Skreetz! This is why I like using kettlebells. Those machines are just a waste. I hadn't thought about that on the Smith Machine. I didn't even know that's what it was called. I used to call it the squat machine.

  2. Hugh Jazz says:

    If someone told me to list the top five machines to steer clear of, this would have been the list, albeit in a different order. I might have substituted the back extension machine for one of the machines, and I would have made the abductor and adductor machines #1, but I agree wholeheartedly with this list.

    • Word… Iwont front, I use the leg extension machine smh. I've known for a minute that it was a waste. Time to change up!

      • Hugh Jazz says:

        If you're a bodybuilder trying to build up your vastus medialis muscle (the teardrop), the leg press works well. But the leg press does a good job of target that muscle too without the shearing stress on your knee.

  3. Xfaces1heart says:

    Interesting post! I was thinking of using the smith machine to add a bench press to my program because I don't have anyone to spot me.Do you have any suggestions to replace it?

    • The power rack. Set the pins low so it's just above your chest. If you need to drop the weight, the pins will be there to catch it.

      The only difference is you'll be starting the exercise by lifting the weight instead of lowering it. You won't be able to completely touch your chest with the bar, but as long as you're not training for powerlifting, it's a non-issue. I assume you're doing this to build your chest up. Once your elbows drop below your chest (past parallel to the floor), your shoulders really start taking over and contributes more to lifting the weight that the pectorals.

      Or you could just use dumbbells if you don't have a spotter. Dumbbells work better for developing the chest anyway.

  4. William H. Strafe says:

    I've always hated that Smith machine, and now I am proven to be right!

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