Free Weights Vs. Machines—Which are Better?

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There has been a running debate for years about whether working with free weights is better than machines and visa versa. Some prefer the easiness of free weights and being able to work out at home while others prefer the safety of machines at the gym, even though you might have to wait your turn during busy periods. Here are the benefits of both for you to decide.

Free Weights

Free weights come in all shapes and sizes, including dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells. They not only strengthen your muscles but also target your stabilizing muscles, which prevent your joints from rotating and reduce the risk of injury. They are more versatile than machines as you can move them from place to place and you can do many exercises with one set of weights. Free weights are also accessible to everyone. They are long-lasting and cost-effective and you can work out whenever you want.

Weight Machines

Weight machines can help you build strength and muscle, but they isolate the agonist muscle groups, which in turn promotes hypertrophy. Taking the stability component out, you will be able to focus on fatiguing the muscle you are working on. For example, a leg extension machine is solely targeting your quads and you don’t need to use any other body parts for proper form. Machines are better for people who are beginners or have injuries as they are less complex, you won’t have to balance or support any other muscles when you are sitting at a machine. You will also be able to do more exercises during your workout with the machines over free weights as they only work on one particular muscle at a time so your body will be less tired.