Are squats on the total gym effective [Article]
They are effective for people who can not do free-standing or barbell squats for fitness reasons and/or health reasons.
- Which total gym to get
- Can total gym build muscle
- Is total gym a good workout
- Total gym vs TRX
- Is total gym cardio
- Can total gym be used as a rowing machine
- Total gym vs bow flex
- Will total gym get you ripped
- Total gym vs free weights
What is your goal
Whether or not something is effective highly depends on the goals you set. Your goals are the ultimate measuring stick for your effectiveness. How fast you get there is efficiency. So many business leaders get this wrong talking about effectiveness and efficiency while the goal is not clearly defined.
So what do you want to achieve with your squats?
If you want to set new records in terms of maximum weight lifted the total gym won’t help much.
If you want to tone your legs and your hips and legs are fine and you do not weigh too much just do normal squats.
If you are older it overweight squats with the total gym might be just for you.
It all depends on your context rather than giving out a blanket statement.
Overview of the Total gym
The total gym puts you on a bench which is attached to two pulleys and can slide back and forward. This sliding bench is attached to a little tower. The tower is the anchor and also helps to determine the resistance at which you train. The steeper the incline, the harder the workout.
Depending on the model attachments you get the total gym is also enabled for squats and more exercises. You work the arms by doing pulley work while the legs can be worked with squats at an incline. After use, the total gym can be folded up and stored under a bed or in a closet.
With pulley and sliding bench arrangement you can simulate many of the machines which you will find at a commercial gym. The total gym will not be a replacement for a cardio machine or free weights for athletes but can keep you fit if you are older or rehabilitating from injury.
Pros of the total gym
The pros of the total gym are:
Low injury risk
One pro of the total gym is that it has a relatively low footprint and can be stored away easily. If you live in a small apartment, the total gym will not take up an entire room of your already limited space all day. Just fold it up and put it next o the ironing board or under the bed.
For an exercise machine that forms muscle and tones, the injury risk is very low. You can sit or lie on the bench depending on how comfortable you feel. There are no weights that can fall on you. The machine itself is also not too intimidating. A big bonus is that you can even use the total gym if your hips, knees or rest of your legs are not well enough for walking.
The pulley mechanism makes this a versatile machine to be used in many directions and combinations. This way you can get a full-body workout out of this one machine.
Cons of the total gym
The cons of the total gym are:
Prone to failure
Hard for prolonged cardio
Overall the total gym is pretty low impact as it only uses your body weight. This is more than enough to get in shape, but if you want to set world records and pack on muscle you will also need some free weights and proper runs outdoors or on a treadmill. Of you are in the senior citizen target group of the total gym that is probably not of interest but for commercial and home gym owners might want to consider this. A rogue echo bike is roughly the same price as a total gym.
The pulleys and the sliding bench can break and it is usually hard to fix them yourself. They are also quite noisy after a good time of use. Combined with that the construction is light and foldable you get the benefit of mobility at the loss of stability. The total gym is still top of the line but more prone to error than a stationary machine.
If your main goal is weight loss one of the best ways to get your goal is to do cardiovascular exercises for 20 minutes. If your joints are aching swimming might also be an option. On the total gym, you might be hard-pressed to do the same thing for 20 minutes.
Alternatives to the total gym
Alternatives to the total gym are:
The Rogue echo bike leaves out the impact of a treadmill while still being cardiovascular. If you can still cycle and mainly want to lose weight and stay fit this is your choice. It won't do as much for toning as the total gym.
Kettlebells will take up less space and work as cardio and strength training. If you are still very to moderately fit they are a great option as they are better faster cheaper than the total gym in my opinion.
The disadvantage is that they are quite hard to use. If you have some coordination problems or can’t take big swing movements you might want to opt for something which produces less g force.
If you like the great outdoors and have your hips and legs in check a good pair of runners will do great things for you. Fresh air, meeting some people and staying fit. Go with this option if you are still mobile and do not want to stay at home.
Are squats on the total gym effective
Squats on the total gym are effective as long as you can not do free standing squats or barbell squats for health reasons. Using the total gym to have less resistance than with a standing squat can be effective depending on your circumstances.