When it comes to strength training, you can either opt for free weights or use machines to tone and strengthen the muscles. However, most fitness experts agree that free weights are superior to fitness machines because the former promote proper form and reduce workout time. Free weights also isolate the muscles better for a more intense workout. So what other benefits you can enjoy from opting for free weights? Consider these tips:
Unlike bulky gym machines, free weights can be used outside the gym. You can do strength training exercises at home and achieve the same level of intensity as you would from working out at the local gym. Free weights are functional and versatile. They allow you to move throughout all three planes of motion and reduce any restrictions to a single plane of motion. In short, with free weights, you do not have to use pricey gym equipment to sculpt and tone your physique!
Gym machines tend to be inefficient in toning and strengthening the body because the motion is often limited. You are only pulling in one or two directions. But using free weights, you can pull from different directions. When the body has to work hard to support weight and the control of the movement, the larger muscles and core work together in unison. That means one simple movement engages more muscle groups.
Improves Coordination and Balance
Apart from engaging multiple muscles at the same time, free weights also force the muscles to work together. This is critical for coordination and balance. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that people who performed free weight exercises regularly improved balance and coordination twice as much as those who performed similar exercises using resistance-training machines.
Burn Off More Calories
If you are serious about losing a lot of weight and achieving a slender physique in half the time, opt for free weights! Free weights exercises burn off more calories than resistance machine exercises. The weights allow you to perform compound movements that tone and strengthen the whole body at the same time. You’re not simply toning your body, you are also torching a lot of calories. This will give you better, faster results.
Stronger Bones and Muscles
According to University of Saskatchewan researchers, participants who use free weights for squat exercise activated their core muscles 43% more than those who used machine squats. In addition, researchers found that free weights trigger greater hormonal response compared to similar exercises performed using resistance machines.
Reduces Risk of Injury
Fitness-related injuries are often caused by muscle imbalance. For instance, one hand could be weaker than the other so the body cannot perform at its peak. When the muscles are not balanced, the body is unable to support itself during the training.
Free weights help reduce the risk of injuries by stabilizing the muscles. The weights help the body support itself by strengthening the muscles, bones and joints. During free weights training, you will easily discover which limb is weaker than the other. At this point, you can adjust your training so both limbs are equally strong. This will reduce the risk of exercise-related injuries.