7 Top Weight Machines for Core Work at Planet Fitness I Love

Planet Fitness
16 Sep

Last Updated on May 21, 2023 by Michael Brockbank

I’m a fan of weight machines of all kinds. I actually work up a decent sweat while using them. However, there are a few weight machines that I love especially when it comes to core workouts. And so far, I’ve seen some positive results.

Granted, I don’t look like the twin brother of Ryan Reynolds yet. But, I’ve noticed quite a difference overall within the past month.

I’m really excited to take some more comparison photos next week.

Weight Machines to Look at for Core Workouts

OK, when I say, “core,” I mean pretty much everything from waist to shoulders. This includes abs, back, and chest.

The reason I focus more on these areas is that they are where I need the most attention. My legs are actually quite tone, and my arms are getting there thanks to some of the machines below.

Unfortunately, I can’t find any good pictures of these machines. But, I’ll update this article later when I can take some pics myself without making it look like I’m the creepy fat guy at the gym with a camera.

So, let’s take a look at my favorite weight machines for core work.

1. Machine Chest Press

One of the things I’d like to develop is a nice chest. Remember, part of what I’m doing is for an upcoming photo shoot. So, I need to get as much work as I can fit into my schedule.

Which really isn’t a lot, I know. But, it’s better than nothing at all.

Anyway, the Machine Chest Press puts work on your pecs, shoulders, and triceps. I don’t need to worry about a spotter and I can quickly make changes to how much I press by moving the pin.

And because it does add work to my triceps, I don’t need to worry about doing the Tricep Pushdown Machine.

2. Machine Back Extension

One of the reasons why my back “fat creases” are starting to disappear is thanks to the Machine Back Extension. Not only that, but I suffer far fewer lower back pain episodes since starting to use these weight machines to work on my core.

Most of the work is centered around the lower back area just above the tailbone. It will strengthen the muscles which improves a myriad of lower back problems for people like me.

Because I’m using my back muscles to press the weight, I’m also burning the fat in those areas. Especially since I’m doing a variation of keto to burn more fat as energy instead of needing carbs for glucose.

Another benefit of the Back Extension is the light work that you’ll get in the glutes. Now, it doesn’t work them nearly as much as a squat. However, it does help strengthen and firm those muscles.

Since one of the things I’d love in the coming weeks is to have “America’s Ass,” glute work is always beneficial. And that’s something I can get behind. See what I did there?

3. Lat Pulldown Machine

Obviously, the Lat Pulldown Machine focuses most of the work on your lats. These are the sets of muscles above your lower back but below the shoulder blades. Coincidently, this is pretty close to where my vanishing fat creases are.

Essentially, you’re pulling the weight down to be level with your shoulders. The end result is creating the “V” shape of the body, especially noticeable from the back.

I like the Lat Pulldown Machine because it also works out the shoulders, biceps, and forearms. It means I can use these weight machines for core exercises without worrying about jumping on the bicep machine or picking up the dumbbells.

Keep in mind, I don’t have a lot of time in the mornings. So, I need to get in as much muscle work as I can in a short period. Machines like this help me work on other parts in addition to the primary muscle groups.

4. Machine Ab Crunch

The Machine Ab Crunch is probably one of my favorite weight machines. Imagine doing a crunch but dragging a bunch of weight in the process.

This particular machine is responsible for the tightening and definition of my abs, which is starting to come along quite nicely. In fact, I’ve noticed a serious difference in how tight my abs are over the past couple of weeks.

Now, if I can just burn the rest of the belly fat, I bet I have the makings of an impressive six-pack.

On a side note, I currently press more than the average weight recorded in Exercise.com. Essentially, it’s just bragging rights. But, it’s nice to know how I stack up against the average users.

5. Machine Fly

Another machine I like to use to improve my pecs is the Machine Fly. In this exercise, you’re kind of like flapping your wings (arms) to squeeze the weight towards the center.

What I like most about this machine, though, is that the range of motion puts more emphasis on the area of the chest near the armpit. This is another trouble area I have that is kind of flabby.

I know it works this part of the chest quite a bit because of the soreness I felt a few weeks ago. It’s easy to get an idea of what weight machines work in which part of your core when you haven’t exercised in about two years!

Let the pain be your guide.

At any rate, the Machine Fly has always been one of my favorite go-tos over the years. And I’m looking forward to being able to flap what I used to in terms of weight.

6. Torso Rotation Machine

Although this isn’t a machine I’ve used, it’s definitely piqued my interest. The Torso Rotation Machine gives you a platform where you essentially twist while pulling weight.

In fact, I’m going to start using this machine as part of my workouts after the photos I take next week.

The machine works by putting effort into the obliques and abs. And since I have a bit of a spare tire going on right now, twisting it away sounds appealing.

Plus, I’d like to do a before and after photo of my sides after using this machine for two weeks.

7. Seated Machine Row

I don’t use the Seated Machine Row as often as I used to. It works out the same muscles as the Lat Pulldown, only with using a different range of motion.

In any case, it’s a nice one to use to work out the middle back, biceps, and shoulders when the Lat Pulldown Machine is being used by someone else.

I would like to point out, though, that it feels like more work is put on the shoulders in the Lat Pulldown than with the Seated Machine Row. It felt like I had to put in more effort to move less weight with the row.

Still, it’s a good machine if you need some back work…which I desperately do.

It All Comes Down to What’s Best For YOU

The best diets and exercise routines are those that work best for you. It really doesn’t matter what I like, or what influencers like V Shred try to sell you.

Case in point, I know people who simply love to run. And that’s what works for them.

I said it during the podcast last night, health and fitness is 90% mental. Because if you go into any exercise or diet with a negative mindset, it simply increases the chances that you’ll fail.

This is because you’re already thinking that it won’t work. In turn, this decreases the amount of effort and seriousness you’ll put into the attempt.

Find workouts, exercises, and diet plans that work best for you. Try several, if you need to see what’s available. There’s nothing wrong with exploring your options.

Well, as long as you don’t try to become a “breatharian.”

What Core Weight Machines Do You Like Most?

I might eventually move up from using weight machines, and there are plenty of bodyweight exercises to improve my core. But for now, I’ll stick to what I have time for at the moment.

Though, I am looking to see what kind of exercise records I can break on Sunday after all of this weight lifting.

Remember, it’s all about you and what makes you keep going to the gym. Find some motivation and become the best version of yourself.

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