Free Weights Vs Machines : The Tale Of The Tape

As a new person to the fitness community, the gym can be a scary place, full of lots of unknown. There are weight machines and there are things that look like big baby rattles called dumbbells. What is better? What should you be using? There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. It’s basically begins as a matter a preference and knowing how each effect your body.
Let’s begin with free weights. To start, don’t just pick up a free weight or a barbell and try to work out. If you have never worked out before, never used free weights, ask a fitness professional to teach you. With that being said, free weights are not generally recommended for beginners as you must learn to balance & control the weight while exerting force. This can be difficult—and potentially dangerous—if you are lifting weights overhead. With that being said, there are many benefits to free weight training. Free weights incorporate stabilizing muscles that enable you to perform the movements you choose to make and may be more effective in producing overall muscular strength and power gains and additional calorie loss. Free-weight exercises also tend to be more functional, as they closely match the movement patterns you’re likely to need for specific sports and as well during activities of daily living. Finally, free weights are cheaper for those of you who have aspirations of having a home gym.
Now let’s discuss exercise machines. Whenever you step foot into a gym, you see them, usually colored to the gym franchise theme and there is usually machine available to work every part of your body. One big advantage to machines is they are generally safer and easier to use, which is great for beginners learning a specific movement. Some are more efficient than free weights at isolating a specific muscle or muscle group. This is important when you’re strengthening a specific body part or rehabilitating an injury. They are also great if you’re in a hurry to get a quick workout, because you can move easily from machine to machine without clean up or set up. On the flip side most machines allow only one exercise, making for a longer time spent to get a full body workout. Also, most machines involve moving a weight along a predetermined path, making it difficult to strengthen the stabilizer muscles of the body. Finally, most machines are geared to the average-sized person, so if someone is shorter or taller than average, it may be difficult to use some machines
In closing, you really can’t go wrong with using either free weights or machines. They each have their pro’s and con’s but the bottom line, they both work effectively to build muscle , which is the important part. Heck , if you really wanted to , you could use both in your workouts !


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