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  1. #1
    Registered User Payton1221's Avatar
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    Hammer Strength: Who Uses Them?

    I typically workout at home, but I do accompany my wife to her gym as a guest on occasion (PF) where I use either an incline bench or seated OHP on one of the Smith machines. She's been a member for over 18 months, and until tonight, I've simply ignored the Hammer Strength machines. Tonight I gave the chest press and the shoulder press machines a quick trial, and I think it could be a viable option to the Smith machine.

    Who uses them and why?
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    Registered User waknickm's Avatar
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    I have 2 uses for the Hammer Strength.

    1. There are days my Tricep gives out early and I feel that I can move to the wide chest machine and finish. Don't know why, but it feels like I use my chest more on it than a normal bench.

    2. I am currently using it due to a minor injury that causes pain when I squeeze the bar. I can push with an open hand and don't have to worry about gripping the bar.
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    Manlets gonna make it Natty1980's Avatar
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    My gym has many and I like them and use them a lot. I feel like they *target* the muscle I want to train very well, maybe it's just a question of angles but they work wonders for me.
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    I have used them in the past. My experience with them is much inline with the other response here and that they work very well for their intended purpose of targeting the muscle the machine was made to target. Strength gains from these typically don't carry over as well to the barbell as the barbell does to back to the machines. As with anything though, the more reps you do the better and stronger you become.

    I personally prefer only db's for OHP, though I have used the HS stuff for this as well and could see how people would like it. I am not a fan of anything that locks your shoulders into place while pushing overhead though. That is just me though, I am sure others have no issue with it.

    HS back machines are excellent as well if you are wanting a lower impact row to save your lower back.

    If I were going to program them moving forward I would still do the big 3 and use the hammer strength equipment for hypertrohpy work.
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    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    I like them, and use them when I don't want to ask for a spotter.
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    I do a machine based upper session for lighter days, not HS but same thing basically precore plate loaded and some pinned stack machines. They are just a way to get some added volume with less joint stress for me. Right shoulder is slowly getting better, heavy BB sessions tend to set me back, so pretty much going heavier with DBs, medium BB, and light with machines. I really like a SS with a pinned converging chest press, and diverging seated row. It’s easy on me, but gets some work in that at least feels effective.
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    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
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    they are like any other machine...it just depends on if the individual machine fits u and feels right. In 5'8" so youd think all the machines would fit me but some just dont.

    I sort of dislike the hammer chest stuff where u start in the bottom position. It just seems so dangerous to start in that mechanically weak position (unless u have a partner to help or unless maybe u r doing like 12 rep sets etc)

    I used to use the hammer plate loaded seated row quite a bit.

    There used to be this Nautilus chest machine in a gym I used to go to where it had the footpad and youd press on that to get the weight started or to give forced reps etc. Now THAT was a good machine because u didnt have to start in the weak bottom position.


    But I mean u r comparing hammer strength to smith machine? obviously the hammer stuff will do stuff a smith machine cant
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    I do when I'm in a hurry. There's zero carry over to real bench tho. 4 plates a side on hammer strength and I'm barely repping 2 with the bar.
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    High Plains Lifter Mark1T's Avatar
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    Hammer Strength machines are great for changing up. I like them because they are plate loaded have good angles. I don't like all of their machines, but chest incline and decline and a couple of back machines are very good. Resistance is resistance and changing up has benefits.
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    Registered User Payton1221's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by John Prophet View Post
    I sort of dislike the hammer chest stuff where u start in the bottom position. It just sees so dangerous to start in that mechanically weak position (unless u have a partner to help or unless maybe u r doing like 12 rep sets etc)
    Agreed. It was a real chore to get it started, but after that, I was reppin' with no problems.

    My shoulder was giving me a bit of problem last night during my pull-ups, so I think I'll start warming up my shoulder with the Hammer Strength overhead lat pulldown machine (not sure if that's its proper name or not but it's basically a "pull-up" that you do while seated) using progressively heavier weights before I begin with the pull-ups.
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    Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
    I typically workout at home, but I do accompany my wife to her gym as a guest on occasion (PF) where I use either an incline bench or seated OHP on one of the Smith machines. She's been a member for over 18 months, and until tonight, I've simply ignored the Hammer Strength machines. Tonight I gave the chest press and the shoulder press machines a quick trial, and I think it could be a viable option to the Smith machine.

    Who uses them and why?
    I like some of the hammer items but not all. Some, like the upright row, put you in a weird plane of motion due to the single axis it is rotating on. But the incline press is the bomb.
    Also try to sit backwards in the ohp fir a really nice press motion.
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    Why wouldn't anyone use them?
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    Originally Posted by MrCarrot View Post
    I like them, and use them when I don't want to ask for a spotter.
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    I train at home these days but have used hammer strength machines.
    What i like is they are designed to follow a more natural movement path for what ever muscle the machines are designed for.
    Example the chest press starts with arms out and they come together as you press like the function with the pecs do bringing the upper arms inward contracting the pecs.
    I wouldn't use them exclusively but certainly adding them to your training could be beneficial with your training.
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    The barbell/dumbbell exercises should be the bulk of anyone's program but there is always value in using machines for periodization. Since most machines have a different movement than a barbell/dumbbell version, particularly stabilizing muscles. Or if you just want a change of pace. They're just good for changing things up and still working the same muscle groups.
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    I tried them all when they showed up at the gym on the first day but now only use specific pieces on certain days.
    The chest machines work particularly well and are big enough to adjust your body positioning for different areas to stress.
    good stuff to add to the rotation
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    Registered User gym62richard's Avatar
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    I have a few HS machines in my home gym. After several shoulder issues, my doctor thought that more surgery would be required, however we finally decided to try some extensive physio first.

    During my rehab my PT recommended integrating the Hammer Strength shoulder press and incline Chest into my routine, my shoulders have greatly improved, I now have more mobility and can now perform standing OHP, a movement I had not been able to do for several years..

    In my case I think introducing the Hammer shoulder and incline chest machines has had a positive impact, of course this may not be true for everyone. Also not every Hammer Strength machine is so bio-mechanically efficient as the shoulder and incline presses.
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    Originally Posted by gym62richard View Post
    I have a few HS machines in my home gym. After several shoulder issues, my doctor thought that more surgery would be required, however we finally decided to try some extensive physio first.

    During my rehab my PT recommended integrating the Hammer Strength shoulder press and incline Chest into my routine, my shoulders have greatly improved, I now have more mobility and can now perform standing OHP, a movement I had not been able to do for several years..

    In my case I think introducing the Hammer shoulder and incline chest machines has had a positive impact, of course this may not be true for everyone. Also not every Hammer Strength machine is so bio-mechanically efficient as the shoulder and incline presses.
    Yes, my wife is a physical therapist and they use HS machines sometimes because it is a more controlled movement than barbell equivalent. Sometimes if you have issues in a joint already even a slight deficiency in technique or the natural movement path will cause issues but the HS won't.
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    This too shall pass dazlittle's Avatar
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    I don't use machines, I am a machine ;-)
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    I haven’t used barbells for years, due to some old shoulder injuries. I typically use dumbbells, but occasionally mix it up by using the HS chest machines.
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    Originally Posted by dazlittle View Post
    I don't use machines, I am a machine ;-)
    How is the crossfit going Daz?
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    This too shall pass dazlittle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cantplankwell View Post
    How is the crossfit going Daz?
    Awesome thanks really enjoying it. As I still have a gym membership I'm getting in there a couple of days a week to hit the stuff that crossfit doesn't address.

    Not sure at 45 if I'll ever be able to handstand walks or do ring muscle-ups though!!!
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    At some point during my many visits to the gym something in my head triggered me to stop doing free weights that could possibly injure me, so I stopped doing squats and any chest press excercises… infact the only time I use free weights is for hammer bicep curls and lawnmowers and occasionally overhead tricep extensions.

    I have since only used the cable machines and hammer machines and i'm bigger than I've ever been and any of the other guys I see In my gym barring guys on the juice and even then I'm still bigger overall framed.

    The reason I account for being able to get so big is for example when doing a standing chest press I use my legs and back to position my self to lean slightly forward the allows me to hold weight I wouldn't be able to do on a barbell chest press in a locked position and then can perform full reps... it works for me and I also prefer the cables for my biceps/triceps.

    Even if I could get over the no free weights mentality I don't think I would go back to it now....once I clear the maximum weights for each exercise on it which is very close I'll then most likely make the switch back but ill feel much more confident in my strength to lift safer at this point.

    I also tried using the smiths machine as a safer alternative but actually found it to be the opposite as the twisting the bar back to hook if I was ready to fail sometimes was a little to close for my liking... I think its my age now i'm just a lot more wary of easy but long lasting injuries so look for safer but equally stimulating alternatives.
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  24. #24
    Registered User Payton1221's Avatar
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    I used several Hammer Strength machines again last night. These things are just so smooooth. And they're so much more joint friendly to me.
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  25. #25
    This too shall pass dazlittle's Avatar
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    After reading and contributing to this thread, I tried some hammer strength stuff last night as I was visiting our local muggle gym. The chest and shoulder press machines are very smooth and really hit the prescribed muscles.
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  26. #26
    Registered User fendertele's Avatar
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    I love them can really loud up the weight without worrying ill drop it on my face if its too heavy as I lift alone and means I can push to my max risk free.. the fact you are seated and it aint going anywhere means you can really push into it without the weight pushing you back so the back is held in place.
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