Fitness for Building Muscle: Comparison of Exercise Machines from Free Weights
Updated: Feb 12
Strength training is excellent for developing different muscle groups, and there are plenty of machines that will aid you in your fitness regimen. You need to make comparisons between using exercise machines and free weights. Both have its advantages and disadvantages and the purpose of comparing is to weigh which one meets your fitness needs the best.
The latest construction of free weights is widely available in the form of barbells and dumbbells. Many dumbbells are single weight, one piece items. Some are designed similarly with barbells. It has a bar on the center and the weights are removable. Thus, it gives you the option to change weights. This is less expensive, however time consuming. You need to replace weights for every exercise.
Weigh stack machine have two types, single exercise (created for one movement) and multiple exercise machines (adjustable for performing various exercises).
Free weights are beneficial for strengthening the entire body. Oftentimes this is more effective. Exercises on free weights are done easily. You properly hold the free weights while standing. Your entire body is supporting the weight that is why the muscles actively move during the exercise. This also supports bone mineralization, significant in avoiding osteoporosis in the future. As you lift the free weights, weight stabilization also takes place keeping your body in a steady manner. This promotes additional muscle strength.
The major advantage of training machines over free weights is safety and easy usage. These machines are equipped with control and guides to direct the resistance paths. Thus it is less dangerous and prevents the user from being pinched, injured, or trapped. In case you failed to control the weights, the stacks will never hit you. The spotter's assistance is not anymore needed when exercising. Heavier weights are more comfortable to lift, increasing your muscle mass. Adjustments on the machines can be easily made that is why this machine is very popular in many fitness centers and gyms.
The free weights major disadvantage is safety. If you perform a bench press using a barbell, the tendency of being trapped is possible especially if you fail to complete a certain repetition. It is advisable to do your exercise with a spotter or a friend to assist you. Keep in mind that greater amounts of control are needed when stabilizing your muscles. Total control is needed when lifting to prevent joints and muscle injuries. Usage and technique must be properly applied when utilizing free weights.
Many manufacturers have created resistance machines with different qualities and designs. Most often these machines are for typical users with typical heights, limb lengths, and weights. The motions of the exercises are guided by these machines. So, sometimes the motion cannot be the perfect motion for the limb length and size of your body. This forces your body to adapt such motion which is not actually good making your exercise useless.
The choice depends on you. To summarize, free weights can be better for achieving full stabilization of the muscles and freedom of motions, while machines provides safety and easy usage. Consider your fitness goals and choose accordingly.