Free weights or machines: what is best to train with?

Anyone who approaches the world of physical training will have asked themselves this question: is it better to train with machines or with free weights? Someone might answer in a very pragmatic way that “the important thing is to train”, but it is also true that there are some differences between the two types of workouts and which affect not only muscle effort and increase in mass but also about the risk of damaging one’s tendons or joints in several ways.

If you too are among the people who have asked themselves this question then this is the place for you: we will not force you to make a decision, but we will limit ourselves to explaining in detail what are the main advantages and disadvantages of the two types of training. , then leaving to you the conclusion on which type of physical activity is better or more satisfying for your body. So, machinery or free weights?

The benefits of free weights

Let’s start this close comparison by looking at the benefits of free weights. These are primarily more effective in one of the main elements of training, namely the recruitment of a greater number of muscle fibers: this happens because the movement has a greater synergy and also involves the stabilizers, which otherwise would not be stressed. . Furthermore, the use of weights allows us to follow the most congenial trajectory for our joint levers (obviously in compliance with the rules of the exercise in question) instead of forcing us to pre-established kinetic routes.

It is also important to underline the versatility of the exercises performed with free weights: these can in fact be used to train different parts of the body thus, if you train at home, to have a positive impact on the economic factor: with a set of weights you can in fact be able to train with satisfaction while also saving money. A fundamental factor to take into consideration then is that of the eccentric and concentric work of our muscles when stressed by working with free weights: in fact, returning to the starting position, the body performs eccentric work of great intensity that would otherwise be left on the sidelines. In addition, the antagonist muscles are also involved and factors such as balance and motor coordination are stressed.

Finally, we cannot fail to mention how training with free weights reflects on an improvement in explosiveness and ballistics and also on a greater involvement of different muscle groups simultaneously: this allows us to reach a greater body definition and expenditure. higher energy.

The advantages of the machines

And what about the machines? What are the advantages deriving from the use of this type of tools? The first of these is certainly that of being able to better control the movements, for example in the critical phases during the lift: we take the squat, where we often find ourselves in difficulty in the ascent. Using the multipower we will be able to maintain the angle of greatest tension without fear of losing adherence to the barbell and this will result in a better performance of the exercise.

Another aspect on which it is possible to work with machinery in a profitable way is for example the work in continuous tension, ensuring that the muscle always remains “active” and never reaches the joint block. In addition, using the appropriate tool you will be able to isolate the specific muscle of your interest in the best possible way, thus developing it in a very precise way.

And then there is the question of safety: the machines help to carry out the exercises correctly because the movements follow the imposed “tracks” thus allowing you not only to learn better but also not to strain the spine or make dangerous mistakes that can somehow lead you to accidents (it must obviously be emphasized that this risk can also manifest itself with improper use of the machines).

Machines vs weights: conclusions and advice

Now you have a complete overview of the various strengths and weaknesses of each of the two sides of training: so is it better to use machines or free weights? As we had anticipated at the beginning, we do not pretend to give you a unique and absolute answer, also because in fact it does not exist: the choice of what to use to improve your body in fact depends on various personal factors including the priorities of your training, the degree of physical preparation and the confidence that those who train find in certain types of exercises rather than in others.

A good idea in this sense can then be to contact a trainer to implement the use of both these types: by going to work both on free weights and on machines you can in fact follow a complete and extraordinarily effective workout, as well as make it more dynamic and stimulating your training.

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About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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