More and more people are turning to strength training not only to gain muscle, but also to burn calories and lose fat. Research has shown that adding strength training to your exercise regimen boosts your workout, but what’s the best way to get results – free weights or machine weights? Below are three reasons to ditch the machines and go for free weights.
Improve Function In Your Daily Life
The whole point of strength training is to become stronger. But what good is being stronger if you’re only able to use that strength while sitting in certain positions, such as those used with machine weights? Free weights provide you with training that actually improves your performance outside of the gym. Normal, everyday life tasks like lifting your kids, moving furniture, or going grocery shopping become easier the more you exercise with free weights.
Get More Bang For Your Buck
Unlike machine weights, free weights aren’t restricted to one specific path. When using them, you’re forced to work more muscles in order to maintain control of the weights and of your body. This causes your stabilizer muscles to work together with your core muscles, giving you a more efficient, all-over training session. If that’s not enough to convince you, the more muscles you use during a given exercise, the more calories you burn. So, for the same amount of effort, you get a much larger return on investment.
Muscle imbalances are a huge factor in training injuries. Exercising with free weights is an efficient way to decrease these imbalances and reduce your risk of injury. Not sure why? Think of this example: using machine weights allows you to inadvertently use one arm more in order to make up for the weaker arm. Free weights don’t give you that option. Each arm is responsible for an individual weight, allowing you to easily determine any muscle imbalances that may be present.
There are numerous additional benefits of incorporating free weights into your established workout routine: convenience, portability and storage ease, to name a few. To learn more about how free weights can help you get fit, check in with personal trainer Ralph Roberts.
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