Should you do only free weights at the gym or use weight training machines? Something you need to keep in mind and never forget is that when you exercise, you are training for life.
You still may spend an hour a day in the gym, although that will still leave another 23 hours or so for your muscles to function without using any fancy equipment.
Whenever you do any type of exercise, the movement of your body during the exercise is known as the range of motion.
The more Full the range of motion is, the more effective the exercise will be, because your body has to work twice as hard to perform the movement.
Bicep curls – Free Weights or Weight Training Machines
Take for the instance the classic dumbbell bicep curl. If you aren’t familiar with the exercise, it is performed by standing up straight with your palms facing forward, and a pair of dumbbells held down by your sides.
You’ll contract your biceps to bring the dumbbells up to your shoulder height, then repeat the exercise as many times as you wish.
Using that same movement for exercise on a bicep curl machine, you should sit down, brace your upper arms on a pad, grasp 2 handles that are in front of you, then perform the same movement as above to move the handles in an upward motion.
Now, looking at the muscle contractions in this exercise, you are contracting essentially your biceps if you are using the curl machine, and that is pretty much all you are doing.
When you use the machine you are sitting down, which will limit just how much your shoulders give. The machine has several muscles used in this exercise limited to the biceps, as well as the muscles in your forearms and fingers.
Limited Range of Motion with Machines
Most of the time, when using machine weights, you will always be limited as to what type of exercise you can perform.
You must always follow a strict procedure, which is pretty much the same with free weights. Unlike free weights, machine weights offer a certain degree of resistance over a shorter part of the range of motion.
One of the best things about weight training machines is the fact that you move a little chuck around to select the weight you want to use.
Instead of dragging it over to your exercise area, you simply select it on the machine. When you are tired during a workout, this can be a blessing.
A lot of people argue in the fact that free weights are the best for your body. While this is normally true, many people out there feel that machine weights are the best.
There are pros and cons with both styles and systems, although free weights have been around a lot longer and have been proven time after time to achieve dramatic results.
Body builders for example, have used free weights over the years to build very impressive bodies. If you ask most of them about machine weights, they would probably laugh at you and tell you that you need to quit joking around.
Should You Use Free Weights or Machines?
In a nutshell, free weights will use more of your muscles than the weight training machines do, which makes them more effective overall.
This doesn’t mean that the machines are a waste of exercise time, as they offer some great advantages. In some cases, it is best to stabilize the muscles that are being used in a movement, which is where machines are the best to use.
The decision on which to use for you should be based on what you hope to achieve with lifting weights and where you plan to use the equipment, such as home or at a gym.
Both systems are great for your body, although the free weights are best to use if you want the best possible workout, and always ensure that your muscles are getting the right workouts they need.