Witch one is better for building muscles and getting stronger? Machines vs Free weights.
In this article, I will show you the differences between free weights and the use of fitness machines. With this comparison, you can decide for yourself what’s best for you.
So let me first define what I mean with free weights, although the name might already give it away. With this, I mean all the weights that can move in 3D, so the kettlebells, dumbbells, and barbells are the most common free weights. With free weights you are a bit more unstable than using machines.
So you need your ‘stabilizing’ muscles to keep you straight and for using correct form. It also improves your coordination and athleticism. Using free weights can be a great way to use the smaller muscles that you wouldn’t use as much with machines.
Because you use more muscles during free weight exercises they should be placed in the beginning of your workout. So you have enough energy to perform these bigger movements!
Another great benefit of free weights is their variety. With a set of dumbbells, you can basically do an entire body workout if you’d like. This is pretty hard to do when you only have a chest press machine.
The only problem with free weight is that they might not be too great for beginners or elders. Beginners won’t have that ‘feel’ for keeping good form during an exercise like people who’ve been lifting for a while do.
This can easily cause injuries. So a great tip for beginners is to stick to machines so you can start building some basic strength and get a feel for the exercises!
Don’t get me wrong machines have their benefits as well and definitely have their place in any good workout program.
Machines give you stability and a set path for your movements. This can be very useful for people with injury, elders, and beginners.
Since your form is automatically set by the machine the chances of injury go down drastically. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on your form while performing the exercise!
Another great advantage of machines is that they allow you to isolate a muscle. Meaning that you only target a specific muscle. This can be great if you feel like this muscle is lacking size or strength.
Place these isolation movements at the end of your workout, they won’t cost as much energy as the bigger free weight movements!
Both free weights and machines should have a place in a good workout program. Start off with one big compound move (squat, bench press, deadlift, etc..), then go on with some free weight stuff and end it with a few isolation movements.
When you are a beginner it is smart, to begin with, the machines and work your way up to free weights, always contact your trainer before you try something new!