Is There an Advantage to Free Weights vs Machines?

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Question: I have been working out for a while but mostly using machines. Is there any advantage to using free weights?
Answer: Machines are considered the safest form of resistance training. They provide both a stable platform and a stable movement. Using a barbell and a bench you still have a stable platform but a less stable movement. With dumbbells, the movement is even less stable because of the dumbbells being used independently. If you were to use an exercise ball instead of a bench, both the platform and movement are unstable. The instability requires accessory muscles to get involved to complete the exercise. We often move on unstable surfaces and though machines are great exercise they don’t translate their movement into athletics or sometimes real life situations as well as free weights.
Free weights are excellent and can be used to strengthen all kinds of movements and translate well into sports. Machines can be implemented into a training program to maximize their potential. For instance, with their weight stacks they can easily be used to extend a set with railroads, drop sets or rest pause especially if you train alone. By using one of these techniques through one plane of movement and adding a variable plane exercise after it, you can exhaust one muscle or muscle group, recover and get excellent growth. Machines are a great place to start training and to use if you have an injury to work around. They can be used effectively to get you in shape and strengthen muscles. They are a wonderful asset and can make a good, effective exercise routine. Be open minded and explore a variety of techniques like free weights, kettlebells, battle ropes or tires to name a few to make your training more effective and your life easier.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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