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Free Weights vs Weight Machines – Which is Right for You?

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Free weights and weight machines both provide a great anaerobic workout when used with health wellness coach programs for resistance training. Both can help you tone up and build lean muscle tissue.  Understanding the difference can help you decide which one is best for you to help you reach your personal fitness goals.


Free weights give you the greatest flexibility in form and style of workout.  You can use them standing, with a weight bench, or while sitting on a large exercise ball. A life and wellness coach or personal trainer can help demonstrate how to use free weights and different exercises you can do with them.  Free weights are weighted tools that are not attached to any machine.  These can include dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, or other weighted workout tools that are not attached to a device.  Form is very important because you could injure yourself if your form is bad or compromised by trying to lift too much weight. Another benefit of free weights is you can do a total body workout with them.  You can effectively work all of the major muscle groups by doing specific exercises that target those regions with free weights and change the angle to work muscles to full fatigue.  If you plan to do heavy lifting with free weights, be sure to have a spotter to help support heavy lifting to prevent sports injury.


Weight machines can provide a challenging workout and does not require a spotter for heavy lifting.  Weight machines normally have adjustable parts. It might be the bench, the seat, the arm grips, or leg bars that you can adjust to customize the machine to your body measurements. One of the downsides of weight machines is that many people do not fall within the range that is adjustable.  If you have a high BMI or very low BMI, you might struggle trying to find an adjustable range that fits your body type.  If the machine is not properly adjusted to your measures, you could strain or cause injury to yourself. Machines help guide the motion of exercise on a track.  For example, if you have a limited range of motion in the shoulder, performing any shoulder exercise on a weight machine could be painful and even cause front shoulder injury. In this example, switching to free weights would allow you to make modifications that would support your limited range of motion without increase the risk of injury.  If you are still unsure which type of resistance training to use, schedule an appointment with personal trainer at your local health club so they can help you match exercises to your personal fitness goals.

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