Beyond the jungle of treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers and bikes is another maze of machines: contraptions with weights or cables or weights and cables. If you don't know what you're doing, we don't blame you for speed walking right past that equipment for another 45 minutes on the cardio machines.

That's why we called on Ali Gritz, the assistant fitness manager at Crunch Gyms, to talk us through the best of the weight lifting machines. "A lot of woman are scared of the machines because they don't want to get too big, muscularly," she says. "But the reality is that creating lean muscle mass helps you get rid of body fat. Too many women do cardio for too long at an intensity that's too low — that's where weight lifting can actually help you." And, realistically, you'll never produce enough testosterone to get really jacked, anyway. So, go ahead. Follow Gritz's tips below, and we bet people will be asking you for how-tos.

Cable Rowing Machine
Start with feet up on the footrests. Keeping the body straight, pull cable into chest by bringing shoulder blades together behind you. "Make sure to drop the shoulders away from the ears and keep chest lifted," says Gritz. Easy-breezy — and a great way to make up for what sitting at a desk all day does to your body. To challenge yourself, "Move your feet to the floor to better engage your core," she adds.

Chest Fly Machine
Start with arms out to the side and a medicine ball under feet. Exhale and bring hands together in front of the chest, keeping your chest lifted and your shoulders away from your ears. "These machines are built for bigger people, so if your feet dangle, the medicine ball is an easy fix to keep you in alignment and work your core," says Gritz. "You can also stack dumbbells for a solid base if you don't have a medicine ball nearby." Read More

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