Free Weights Vs. Strength Machines

Have you ever wondered which method of resistance training is better, free weights or strength machines? Actually the answer is both, it really depends on your experience with working out and what your personal goals are.

Free weight advantages:

1.) They help workout stabilizer muscles, this will help out with greater caloric expenditure and strength gains.

2.) They are relatively cheaper than buying large machines.

3.) They are highly effective for functional movements.

4.) You can do multiple exercises with one piece of equipment.

Free weight disadvantages:

1.) They can be easily performed with poor form.

2.) You may need a spotter depending on what exercises you are doing.

3.) Difficult to isolate certain muscles.

Strength Machine advantages:

1.) They are safer to use when working out by yourself.

2.) They teach the body correct movement.

3.) They isolate muscles easier.

Strength Machine disadvantages:

1.) They don’t normally strengthen stabilizer muscles.

2.) Most machines only allow you to do one exercise.

3.) Experienced exercisers may not find machines as effective for strength gains.

4.) People of larger or smaller frames may have difficulty getting in proper alignment to use the machine safely.

There is no winner between free weights and strength machines, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. If you are new to exercising I would suggest to start off with machines, after 10-12 weeks you should start to add in some single joint free weight exercises( dumbbell curls, dumbbell lateral raises, etc..) to help build up stabilizer muscles. Lastly you should incorporate multi-joint free weight exercises (barbell bench press, barbell squat, etc..) to help build more strength and muscle.

If you are new to exercise you should seek out a health professional to go over guidelines for intensity and duration of exercise. It is also recommended that you get clearance from your doctor before starting up your exercise program.

Call Fitness Together (330-702-1311) to set up your free fitness/nutrition assessment.

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Posted by on April 4, 2013. Filed under Weight Training. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry