Working out with Free Weights vs Machines

Nowadays you have the chance to choose whether to work out with free weights or with machines. Some people train only with free weights while others stick to machines. Yet other people use a combination with free weights and machines. So what’s better for you?

Weight machines

Pros
Machines are easy to use and learn. Most of them have a picture on which is demonstrated how to use it. And the method for using most machines is pretty self explanatory. Which means it’s easy to use them. If you cannot hire a personal trainer, you can easily figure things
out by watching the person ahead of you.

They can isolate the muscle groups more efficiently. The body will be pretty stable on most of the machines so you’ll be able to more efficiently target the larger muscle groups. This is quite helpful for those of you who already have a solid foundation and are trying to improve their bodies by building more muscle mass. For some bodybuilders this may be the preferred method.

They also allow you to work out with heavier weights without using assistance. If you don’t have a lot of experience training with proper technique on the free weights, it may be difficult to add more weight. But some machines allow extra weight to be added without risking injury. This may also be beneficial if you are working out without a spotter or a partner.
Machines can be also useful for elderly or for doing rehab. For people who have a low fitness level or for people recovering from an injury, using machines can be efficient way to strengthen up safely and quickly. And you can easily work around certain injuries because machines isolate the muscle groups.

Cons
Machines aren’t functional, they don’t allow you to train in complete movement patterns.
And they don’t take into account the fact that there are different body types.
They also neglect the smaller stabilizing muscles. They are isolating the target muscle groups but aren’t working on the stabilizing muscles and if you use them too much, you risk injuring yourself.

Machines are safer to use even with lower skill level but if you have too poor a form or use too much weight, they may cause an injury directly or indirectly.
And they are also full during the peak hours.

Free weights

Pros
They allow you to train the functional movements and they can be used to train in a manner which translates well in real life activities and athletics.
You can use the full range of motion, you aren’t locked into a certain range of motion.

They place more tension on stabilizing muscles and, thus, strengthen them which keeps the joints fully operational and healthy if you are exercising properly.
If you have less time to train and want to accomplish a lot with few exercises, then you’d better use free weights.
They also allow you endless variations. With machines you’ll be limited to what’s available but when you use free weights you can do many different variations of the same exercise.

And training with free weights allows you to exercise anywhere.

They are also less expensive than machines. So if you cannot go to the fitness, then free weights are the way to go.

Cons
You’ll need some skill to learn how to do the exercises properly. You may even need someone to show you how.
If you don’t do the exercise properly, then the risk of an injury is higher than with machines.
You can easily move a joint or a bodypart out of the proper alignment which can injure you.
To lift heavy on the bench press or on squat you’ll need a spotter.

Who are weight machines for

Beginners who don’t know how to properly use free weights.
Bodybuilders who want to target specific muscles and build more muscle mass.
Weight machines can also be useful for rehab.

Who are free weights for

In short, most people. Free weights can be beneficial for everybody.
Athletes will also benefit from using free weights.
And bodybuilders can also utilize them.
Free weights can also be used for rehab to speed up the process.

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