Weight Machines and Free Weights: Which is Better?

When walking into any gym or health club, people will most of the times have 2 choices in regards to the type of weight training routine they can consider and those choices are weight machines and free weights. Naturally, the immediate question that comes to mind is which of these 2 qualifies as the better option. Is it better to move to the weight machines, such as the leg press, pull down or chest press or grab free weights like medicine balls, barbells or dumbbells? Well, in the paragraphs below, the advantages of these routines will be detailed.

free weight vs machine training

Advantages to free weights

People can move through a wider range of motion. In what regards the weight machines, they just don’t feel right, no matter how much the handles or seat is adjusted. Free weights however, allow for complete freedom of rotation, meaning that exercises like an overhead shoulder press can feel much more comfortable and natural.

In time, people using free weights become more efficient, especially with excises like squat to overhead press and dead lifts. This is because the latter use more muscle groups compared to weight machines, which allows for burning more calories in less time and an overall more efficient workout.

People get more athletic because free weights increase coordination and balance much more efficiently than weight machines

Lastly, individuals will get stronger faster.

Advantages to weight machines

Weight machines make it simple to change weights. Free weights on the other hand require lots of taking dumbbells of shelves and stacking plates on barbells.

Great for isolating muscles, which is perfect for those who have suffered an injury and don’t want to work the affected muscles.

Better for beginners, because they’re staffed and they can easily be helped in performing various exercises.

Lastly, there is less risk for injury when using weight machines.

The Case for Machines

First of all people should understand that machines are a great start for those who are unfamiliar with how to target specific muscles and especially for those who are new to strength training. The majority of such machines will also have a diagram or instructions, so using them can be quite simple to understand. Even more, using weight machines, it’s much easier to maintain proper form, because this gym equipment is designed so that it will support the individual’s body while he’s training.

Many people are actually intimidated of strength training, because they don’t really know what to do and this is where the use of weight machines comes into play. If there’s one major disadvantage to these machines though, that’s the fact that they don’t really offer the range of motion free weights provide and in general they have a 2 dimensional movement pattern.

The Case for Free Weights

Free weights offer a much better workout for those who want to improve their balance and develop more muscles in the same amount of time. Even more, using free weights individuals can do a much larger variety of exercises compared to the number available with the weight machines. However, if there’s one disadvantage of using free weights, that’s the increased injury risk, so extra care is required when training this way.

As this article conveys, there are different advantages and disadvantages to both types of training routines and it’s better if people consider a combination of the 2. This way they’ll manage achieving a much better overall body development.

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