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Free Weights vs. Exercise Machines

This is one of those ‘age old’ questions that always seems to make its way into gym conversations. “Which are better, free weights or exercise machines?” Well, to answer that, neither option is better nor worse than the other, but they do offer their own set of pros and cons:

Exercise Machines are great as they help you develop the correct range of motion and can ‘ease’ you into your training routine if you’re starting out. They are usually equipped with a diagram that has step-by-step instructions and pictures, which make using them pretty simple.

Fitness Instructor & Exercise manchine

A combination of exercise machines and free weights will be most beneficial to your workout routine.

One of the cons of using exercise machines is that many of them don’t give you enough variation, which will have an impact on the development of your muscles. Another one would be waiting for them during the busy periods such as early in the morning, or just after knock off time in the evening.

Free weights such as dumbbells and barbells also have their pros and cons. The positive benefits of using free weights to workout is that you can experience many different types of exercises. If performed properly, free weights can offer a more complete workout by using your stabilizing muscles during your workouts. For instance, a standing dumbbell curl works your biceps, but because you are standing, your stabilizers such as your core are working too.

The negative aspect about free weights is the fact that many people perform the move without the correct technique or range of motion, which ultimately leads to injury, muscle imbalances and limited muscle development.

The best workout style would be one that incorporates both exercise machines as well as free weights. By combining the two, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of both and also, through education and practice, you will be able to eliminate the cons.

Author: Dimi Ingle
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