Answer From Edward R. No single piece of weight training equipment is best for everyone.
Mercola Regardless of your age or gender, you'd be wise to incorporate some form of strength training into your fitness regimen.
And it actually gets even more important the older you get. With good muscle tone, you'll be better able to perform everyday activities like climbing stairs and getting out of a chair, as you age.
Strength training also benefits your: However, fitness experts like Dr.
Doug McGuff and Phil Campbell have pointed out that in order to actually benefit your cardiovascular system, you have to perform mechanical work using your muscles.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the superior effectiveness and efficiency of anaerobic high intensity interval training HIIT and strength training over traditional aerobic workouts. In fact, the latter is one of the least effective forms of exercise. When it comes to strength training, you have a number of different options.
A recent article1 by K. Aleisha Fetters discusses the pros and cons of free weights versus strength machines. Later, I'll also review how to further supercharge your strength training routine by slowing it down, which turns it into a very high intensity exercise. There are benefits and drawbacks to both machines and free weights, and some exercises tend to be more effective when done using one or the other.
Hand weights are inexpensive, portable, and readily available for purchase in just about any department store. Keeping them in your living room or office will allow you to knock out a few sets of exercises whenever you have the time.
The benefit of a resistance machine is that it will allow you to focus your mind on the effort, as opposed to the mechanics of the movement. But, unless you have enough space for a machine in your home, you'll need a gym membership.
The primary difference between free weights and machines, however, is the fact that when using free weights, you can move in three dimensions: This is important, because this is how your body normally moves in daily life. When you use free weights, you therefore end up engaging more muscles, as you have to work to stabilize the weight while lifting it.
The drawback is that you're at an increased risk of injury unless you maintain proper form. Machines, on the other hand, are fixed to an axis that will only allow you to move in one or two planes. If used exclusively, this could lead to a lack of functional fitness, which can translate into injuries outside the gym.
Simply stepping off the sidewalk could result in a knee or ankle injury if stabilizing muscles have been ignored in favor of only working your larger muscle groups.
On the upside, a machine will allow you to lift heavier weights, and allow you to target specific muscle groups.
So the choice is yours. While some have strong opinions about using one or the other, I believe a balanced approach is the best. As noted in the featured article:Free weights and machines both have their pros and cons, the key is to figure out which one is right for you.
I will explain some of the pros and cons for both types of equipment. I hope you make a wise decision, because not knowing the difference can cause serious injuries and setbacks in your training.
Why: Alternating between free weights and machines can help you target one specific area, like your shoulders, says Gottlieb. “Doing a free-weight shoulder press would fire up the stabilizing muscles, activate your core, burn more calories, and achieve a higher rep range, which helps get some endurance training in the muscles,” says Gottlieb.
Essay on Free Weights vs. Machines Weights. Length: words ( double-spaced pages) Rating: Strong Essays. Open Document.
Essay Preview. Free Weights vs. Machines Weights People have enjoyed working out for a long time. The going to the gym and working out trend is gaining popularity every year.
Right now working out is the rage. The primary difference between free weights and machines, however, is the fact that when using free weights, you can move in three dimensions: forward, backward, horizontally, and vertically. This is important, because this is how your body normally moves in daily life.
Free weights and machines each have their uses, but we’re going to declare this a narrow win for the weights. With free weight exercises, you can work more muscles in less time than with machines.
In the January issue of “The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,” researcher Keith Spennewyn, who is the President of the National Institute of Health Science, investigated the differences in strength and balance outcomes in participants using free weights vs.