Free weights vs Machines, by Louis

Personal Training in Ballarat - Ben's Army 24/7 Fitness

 

 

 

 

 

ℹ Free weights V’s Machines? 

There’s mixed opinions on free weights verses weight machines. One thing all machines have in common is that generally they follow a specific plane as we use them. With free weights they are exactly that -  free to move in any direction. So, which is better? My answer is neither… each have pros and cons which I will talk about below. 

💥Pros and cons of Free Weights...

Free weights are great as they challenge joint stability and are specific to activities of daily living. Take a Deadlift for example – each time you pick up the shopping bags full of groceries, you are essentially doing a Deadlift. So, Deadlifting is not only a great exercise for developing your strength in the gym, but also keeping you safe outside the gym by teaching you how to lift properly. Same goes for most other exercise you can do with free weights.

The greatest downside to free weights is that there is lots of room for error which can lead to injury. For this reason, free weights are generally more suitable with those with some experience and good body awareness.

💥Pros and cons of Machines...

One of the benefits of training with machines is that they are a safer alternative to free weights. Machines are ideal for beginners as learning the correct technique is generally a lot easier. They are great for isolation of muscles which can be beneficial in a rehab setting or for the advanced to develop and sculpt specific areas of the body.

Opposite to the free weights, the biggest disadvantages are that they don’t challenge balance and stability and are not very specific to activities of daily living.

For typical resistance training programs, I would recommend a combination of the two starting with exercises that require the most stability and balance. Machines are a great finisher to your workout as you will be able to give the muscles a good blast with less risk of getting injured. For those just starting out, machines are a great option for introducing you to resistance training. Start with learning compound exercises like Leg Press and other squat machines, Seated Row, Lat Pulldowns or Assisted Chin-ups, and Chest Press.

Both free weight and machines are capable of great results, its just about deciding which is best for you based on your goals and abilities. 

Thanks for reading!

Louis Armitage Fitness Coach



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