So, the big question, what is better – free weights or exercise machines? It is an interesting question and one that almost every gym-goer asks at some point in their career. In this post I am going to show you why I believe free weights to be a whole lot better than exercise machines.
- Free weights:
Any weight lifting device that you can lift and move freely. The main examples are dumbbells and barbells.
- Exercise machines:
Any weight lifting device that has a fixed use. For example, overhead press machines, ab crunch machines, etc.
Exercise machines – some advantages
Before I get into the reasons why free weights are better I want to give you a couple of reasons why exercise machines should still play a big role in your workout.
They are safer
The main advantage of exercise machines is that they are safe. These machines are designed to use your body in a certain fashion and as such there is a lot less room for injury. For example, when you use a rowing machine your back is positioned nicely and the puller only moves in one fixed direction. This means you will have to work pretty hard to pull a back muscle.
They teach you technique
Another major advantage of the exercise machine which is closely related to the first one is the fact that they teach you how to do exercises in the proper fashion. As the machine is built for one particular movement only it is a lot easier to learn how to do that movement.
Why free weights are better
If you are trying to lose weight, get fit or sculpt some part of your body you will be much better off using free weights. And I am not the only one who says this; fitness trainers and bodybuilders from around the world all agree that free weights are better for you.
The reason is simple. When you use free weights you get an increased range of motion. This range of motion means that you will be working more muscles at once and as such you will get a more intense workout.
Take the bench press as an example. When you push a barbell above your chest you need to use lots of stabilizer muscles in order to keep the weight in the right position.
When you are on the exercise machine you don’t get this effect as the machine holds the weight for you. These stabilizer muscles are extremely important for your posture and muscular health.
As a general rule you can say that the bigger the range of motion the better the exercise. Exercise machines, unfortunately, do not provide this range of motion and as such we need to set them aside and choose a good free weights exercise instead.
Free weights can be dangerous
Of course, there is always a down side. Free weights can be dangerous if you don’t use them correctly. It is vital that you learn the proper technique before using heavy free weights to avoid any injuries.
When it comes to weight lifting the most important thing is technique. Always. If your technique is correct and nicely performed you will have good results. If it is incorrect you will get bad results and even worse injuries.
Once you have learned the correct way to use them you should always pick free weights over gym machines. You get a better range of motion and utilize many different muscles at once. This is good for the progress of your muscles and the overall health of your body.
Can A Workout Guide Help Guide You In The Right Direction?
You’ve decided to start working out. However, when you look into the best types of exercise to suit your purpose, you’re faced with an overwhelming plethora of choices! Do you join a gym, do aerobics or just start jogging around the block every day?
Different types of exercises suit different people and different weight loss / fitness goals. You also need to factor in things like – what type of exercise do you most enjoy doing. Or to put it another way – what type of exercise is going to be sustainable for you in the long term. There is no point deciding to take up running if you hate running or have health issues that would make running unfeasible. Likewise, joining a gym is out if you can’t afford the membership fees or there isn’t one convenient for you.
The Walking Workout – Walking Your Way To Better Fitness
One of the most convenient, easiest and popular ways to exercise is walking. Walking is an excellent form of exercise and suits pretty much every level of fitness. Additionally, nearly everyone can fit some walk time into their daily routine, even if it’s just walking the dog on a daily basis. It’s relatively easy to find an exercise partner to go walking with you, which provides added incentive to keep doing it. As you get fitter, you can increase the distance and intensity at which you walk too.
Aerobics – A Great Fitness Workout Option
Another very popular type of exercise, especially for women, is aerobics. In some countries, free or cheap council-run aerobics classes are a popular alternative to joining an aerobics club. If you think aerobics might be something you’d like to try, be sure to get hold of an aerobics for fitness guide. This will show you how the various types of exercises will benefit you and importantly, how to do them correctly.
Joining A Gym To Work Out
Yet another option is joining a fitness center or a gym. This gives you the option of having a variety of workout programs and equipment available to suit. Most also have trainers who can help you plan an appropriate workout and answer any questions. When choosing a fitness center, there are a couple of things to bear in mind. Good service is essential and well-maintained equipment of paramount importance. Exercise equipment in good condition and maintained correctly doesn’t generally squeak, rattle or make a lot of noise when used!
The Ultimate Convenience – Working Out At Home
You may even decide to purchase your own exercise equipment to set up at home. That’s the ultimate in convenience! However, it is an expensive outlay so be sure to select the best equipment for losing weight the way you want to lose it. If you don’t plan to do much strength training, don’t go overboard buying a ton of strength building equipment.
Choose The Right Exercises With A Workout Guide
Regardless of the type of exercise you choose, most workout guides advise you to start out the same way. Begin with a low level of intensity then build up to higher levels of intensity as your strength and fitness improves. If you start out by doing too much too soon you’ll run the risk of injuring yourself, possibly seriously. Also, bear in mind that depending on the type of exercise being done, workout guides written for women may differ from those for men simply because of differences in muscle bulk and strength.