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How-to Buy A Strength-Training Machine

by Chee Gates

How-to Buy A Strength-Training Machine

If you want to look fit and feel fit, you’ve got to build muscle. That’s why it’s a smart move to have a strength-training machine in your home. Even smarter? Read these buying tips to make the perfect purchase, and back it up with a Sears Master Protection Plan.

Choose a total-body machine
Stay away from pieces that work one or two muscles. In order to get a full-fledged resistance workout, your machine should target the following ten major muscle groups: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, glutes, abs/core. The specs should offer at least 50 different exercises and six workout stations.

Look for photo diagrams
Pictures speak volumes. Your choice machine should come with an easy-to-follow chart, since you probably won’t have a trainer in your home to correct your form. Another option: Type an exercise name into the search box on FitStudio.com, and watch our experts demonstrate the move correctly.

Don’t be resistance shy
Make sure your machine has resistance up to at least 300 pounds of resistance and a weight stack of 125 pounds. That’s the industry standard—accept nothing less.

Must-have features
High and low pulleys—essential to execute a range of exercises.
A preacher curl station—a great tool to target your biceps and triceps.
Four-roll developer—ideal for butt- and thigh-toning.
Ankle strap—the answer to hip jiggle.
Chest press—the next best thing to a boob lift.

Don’t overpay
Sure, you could spend thousands of dollars on a massive apparatus that takes up half your workout room. Or you could pay less and leave a smaller footprint in your home.

Our top picks

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