Machines Versus Free Weights
What's right for you?
are great for beginners because they are safe and easy to use.
guide your body through a certain range of motion.
don't have to worry about balancing the weight as much as with free weights.
don't require as much coordination.
isolate each muscle group.
let you get in a fast workout. You go through a circuit of machines and then
you are finished.
are usually arranged so that you work large muscle groups and then smaller
don't fit everybody. They can be hard to adjust.
don't build as much balance or coordination.
can put your body into a bad range of motion. (If you feel uncomfortable
move onto another machine)
are not portable. They can't be moved around very easily.
trainers (including me) believe that working out with machines alone doesn't
build a very good (lean, strong, flexible) body.
weights are versatile. One set of dumbells can be used for many exercises.
weights build better balance and coordination.
weights work your muscles in a way that matches real life.
trainers primarily use free weights to gain strength while maintaining
flexibility and agility.
weights allow you to strengthen muscles and tendons that wouldn't get much
work when using machines.
- Free weights
are easier and cheaper to do at home.
weights can be difficult to learn because of the balance and coordination
free weight workout can take longer than a machine workout.
can get injured easier using free weights.