Many exercise machines use the principle of hydraulics. Unlike other types of exercise equipment, in hydraulic exercise equipment, the force that you exert on your exercise equipment is transmitted from one to another point by use of an incompressible fluid. Exercise equipment using hydraulics is used in strength training programs, particularly in circuit training gyms. Though this equipment was developed decades ago, it is now enjoying a resurgence in terms of its popularity.
Unlike other machines which traditionally use a lever pulley, weight based system (the stacks of weight plates), in hydraulic machines resistance is created by pushing fluid (usually a type of oil) through hydraulic cylinders. When you’re operating these machines, you have to exert force not only to push, but you also have to exert force to pull the machine back.
So suppose you’re using a bench press machine that uses hydraulics, you would be able to stop your motion at any point, and in either direction, unlike a traditional weight based machine.
Hydraulic exercise machines can be adjusted to the strength level of each individual. The hydraulic cylinders provide counter resistance against the force you exert. So the harder and faster you work the machine, the greater resistance you create. The machine can also be adjusted to each person’s own flexibility or range of motion.
Benefits of Hydraulic Machines
These are thought to be safer and more user friendly particularly for certain age groups. Studies have compared the use of regular weights and hydraulic machines by seniors. It was found that seniors who used these machines improved their strength and balance by using the machines, but their risk of falls and injury was lower than the group who used traditional or stacked weights.
It may not only reduce the risk of injury they may also be better for the joints. So people with certain health conditions or those who have problems with their joints and muscles may be able to work on hydraulic machines even if regular stacked weights may be inadvisable.
The phenomenon of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness that lifters typically experience is much less with hydraulic equipment. So the pain and stiffness that one typically experiences after lifting is much less when using these exercisers.
Hydraulic equipment may be inadequate or inappropriate for advanced lifters and it is not possible to tell how much weight is actually being lifted. However it may be more suitable and beneficial for beginners who require moderate intensity workouts.