I always get a kick out of watching big burly guys use the seated leg curl. Few people realize this machine was designed specifically for pregnant women (who can’t lie on their stomach to perform a traditional hamstring curl). Still, the machine does a good job of targeting the hamstrings; it’s a respectable alternative to the horizontal version.
I’m not nearly as positive about the stationary hand cycle. The hand cycle provides a cardiovascular option for wheelchair-bound athletes. The able-bodied person using the hand cycle has skipped the treadmill, the StairMaster, the elliptical machine, and of course, the stationary bike, in order to experience a workout that is literally handicapped.
I notice two kinds of laziness at the gym. There’s typical sloth, and then there’s why bother to show up at all. The woman sitting in the hand cycle today most definitely burned the bulk of her calories walking from the parking lot to the gym. It’s one thing to choose a machine that uses only the body’s smaller muscle groups when your focus ought to be maximizing calorie burn. It’s quite another to rotate the crank so slowly that the fat hanging from your upper arms doesn’t even jiggle.
No matter. I think it was excellent training for repeated lifting of her TV’s remote control.