You Can Skip The Thigh Machine Next Time You're At The Gym. Here's Why

Nothing can derail a healthy fitness routine quite like effort not yielding results, or worse, causing injury. Oftentimes, simply doing the machine circuit in the gym doesn't yield an effective workout, and as the experts at Women's Health point out, some of those machines can be downright dangerous!

Case in point, the thigh machine, or as it's more commonly known at the gym, the hip abduction machine. If your goal is to transform your thighs from jiggly to J.Lo, this machine, no matter how much you use it, is not going to give you the results you're looking for. And, according to Performance University owner Nick Tumminello, the hip abduction and adduction machines can even be dangerous because they force your body to perform movements it wasn't designed to do. He explained to Shape Magazine, "There's nothing remotely like these movements in life." Further stressing that the specific muscles the thigh machine works "are primarily stabilizers for when you're standing or moving around."

The editors and experts at Women's Health agree adding, "Because you are seated, it trains a movement that has no functional use. If done with excessive weight and jerky technique, it can put undue pressure on the spine."

Instead of using the thigh machine use resistance bands to work the inner and outer thigh muscles

Not only will using resistance bands get you up and out of a seated position, but as personal trainer, Brooke Marrone told Cosmo, "free standing exercises work more muscle groups and don't force your body into uncomfortable positions."

Women's Health recommends doing lateral band walks for toning those thigh muscles. Simply place a resistance band around your ankles and sidestep 20 paces and back again slowly and in control. Remember, the heavier the resistance band the harder the exercise.

In an article for Muscle and Fitness, trainer Pete Williams suggests using a resistance band to do side leg raises as a much safer and effective way to work thigh muscles. His recommendation, "Place a mini-band around both legs just above your knees. From a partial squatting position and keeping your left leg stationary, rotate your right knee in and out for 10 reps. Switch legs and repeat."

And the best part of replacing the thigh machine at the gym with resistance band exercises, you can do them anywhere. As Marrone points out, "Resistance bands are much less expensive and you can travel with them."