In the world of fitness today there’s an issue about free weight exercises versus machines. This is about whether or not training with free weight exercises is superior or inferior to training with weight machines or other high-tech apparatus. This old argument has in fact been going on for years. Both sides have some merit. It’s the battle of free weights versus machines and typically one of bodybuilding’s longest running debates but anyone interested in strength training itself such as a football player would like to know the skinny on this one.
Free Weights Develop the Stabilizer Muscles whereas Machines Don’t
A stabilizer group of muscles can also be thought as the antagonistic muscles to the ones you are working. If you are pushing using your front deltoids, pecs and triceps,Chest Press Machine then the pulling muscles being your biceps, lats and rear shoulders are surely helping you stabilize during a pushing movement. It is true that the so called opposing muscles are not recruited as much with machines because the machine’s built in structural course of motion tends to take the place of the helping stabilizer muscles. There is a higher learning curve with learning to do an Incline Press with dumbbells to learn balance rather than learning, for instance, a press on a Smith machine.
Free Weights are Better for Beginners for Learning Lifting
A used cheap set of barbells and dumbbells is usually cheaper than machines. Following this argument is okay if one is only curious about strength training and doesn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a machine or a gym membership after watching some infomercial.
Free Weights Represent a more “Real World” Kind of Lifting
This argument also brings up the concept of compound (also known as) multi-joint exercises. Compound exercises are those in which you rely on many muscle groups to help lift a weight. You will surely have the ability to lift more weight with a compound exercise than when doing what is called an isolation exercise. Although exercise movements on a machine tend to be more isolationist than with many types of compound free weight exercises, you usually will be able to press more on a machine press than a press using free weights. This is because with a machine, you don’t need to balance the weight and the machine is taking the place of the stabilizer muscles.
It is harder to cheat when using machines
Each machine is featured to be used in a specific way to isolate the muscles intended for engagement. This argument can, however, be turned around in favor of the compound nature of barbell exercises in which more muscles groups (motor units) are engaged at one time. What exactly does one mean by cheat?