The battle of free weights vs machines has been going on for many years. Both sides are passionate about their preference, they also believe theirs is the only right way to go. Its time to cut the bull and analyze the facts so you can make up your own mind.
Free weights – If you want to get massive and start growing muscle, free weights are for you. Free weights have been proven to be the most effective way to get huge and be powerful. The reason free weights are great for growing muscle is because they require you to use more muscle fibers then machines, and more importantly you use your stabilizer muscles too.
With a machine, the focus is on an isolated muscle, but with free weights you need your stabilizer muscles to back you up. This way you are contracting more muscle fibers and as a result, more muscle fibers will need to recover, meaning that you’ll get bigger then if you did the same exercise with a machine.
A good example of free weights being superior to machines is squats. When doing squats you are working your legs, as well as your stabilizer muscles like your lower back. If you did squats on a machine, the equivalent would be leg press. It works the same leg muscles as squats, but none of the stabilizer muscles like the lower back. Working stabilizer muscles not only gives you a stronger base, but it makes your muscles grow faster.
Machines – Machines are perfect for beginners, people recovering from an injury and the elderly. They use a controlled strict range of motion, meaning that its almost impossible to do the exercise wrong which reduces the chance of getting injured. This is great for beginners as their eagerness to jump onto a heavy free weight exercise may cause them to get injured if they don’t know what they’re doing.
Machines are good for people recovering from an injury as machines allow them to isolate the muscle they need to gain strength and flexibility in. They are allowed to focus on the recovering muscle alone which makes the workout more effective as they don’t waste energy working other stabilizer muscles. The elderly people also benefit greatly from machines. Machines provide a decent workout for them without the extra stress and difficulty associated with free weights.
Now that you’ve got the right facts, its time for you to make up your own mind.
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