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Free Weights Vs. Machines Weights Essay

1544 words - 6 pages

Free Weights vs. Machines Weights

People have enjoyed working out for a long time. The going to the gym and working out trend is gaining popularity every year. Right now working out is the rage. Health clubs are getting built and remolded. There is still one question that the average working out Joe wants an answer for. Which is better? Free weights or machine weights? Does it really matter?

When a person works out with free weights it is necessary for him to have a spotter (a person to watch him in case he fails to lift the desired weight). The only time one could work out without a spotter is if he/she is lifting extremely light/weights. Even this could be dangerous. No one I know recommends lifting free weights alone. When working out with machine weights such as cables or hammer strength equipment the spotter is nice to have but not necessary. Machine weights are ideal for those who wish to train alone. Training alone can also cut one’s workout time in half.

Free weights use the natural motion a person has on that specific lift. An example of this is if a person has physical alteration, like one arm is longer than the other is and he wishes to bench press. The barbell or dumbbell will adjust with his range of motion. If that person wished to use a machine, his range of motion would be limited to his short arm. He still would be able to use that piece of equipment, but he wouldn’t get as well a work out if he would have if he used free weights.

Another downfall of machine exercise or cables exercises is that people come in a variety of heights and weights. Some people may have trouble fitting or may not even fit in a piece of equipment. This will restrict them from getting the maximum effectiveness of that particular exercise. Free weight equipment has no limitations for larger people. There is not one exercise that a person of larger size cannot do. All free weight equipment is open, while machine equipment is in closed. Both machines and free weight benches can be adjusted to get the proper angle one desires. There are two exercises that can only truly be done using free weights and that is the parallel squat and power clean. There are a few weight machines that try to mimic the squat but there is really no substitute. The squat is the king of all exercise. It builds thigh and hip development and strengthens the lower back. It also strengthens all the tiny stabilizer muscles in the body. The power clean is a full body exercise that strengthens and builds all the major muscles in the body like shoulder, back, legs, and arms. There is a downfall of free weights. One has to pick them up and return them to the tree (rack) after they are completed in their exercise routine.

Using free weights, a person will achieve greater mass than he would if he did the same exercise using machine equipment. Free weights use the person’s natural range of motion and strengthen their...

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