Intimidated by free weights? Unsure of the best way to incorporate free weights into your workouts to achieve your fitness goals? Always gravitating to strength machines instead? We can help.
While both free weights and home gyms are great training tools – there are certainly some unique benefits from incorporating free weights into your workouts that are often overlooked including, versatility, training for everyday movements, and space.
Another perk? As your fitness levels increase and your endurance improves, you can purchase new weights to continue to challenge yourself – and not spend a ton of money.
Now, time to get into the details –
“Free weights place a greater demand on stabilizing muscles and there are endless variations to keep training fun. With just a few sets of dumbbells, I am able to create variety and comprehensive workouts for my at-home clients,” explains Esther Choi Williams personal trainer and founder of fitblvd and Gym Source VIP personal trainer.
Plus, free weights can be used by multiple people allowing for more versatile workouts, creating accountability if you want to workout with someone, and are easy to grab and go as you move through the workout versus adjusting the weight on a machine between exercises or to accommodate multiple people at the same time.
Further, explore the pros and cons of free weights vs machines here.
Most importantly, the ability to mimic daily functional movements. If you were to perform a squat on a leg machine you are absolutely building those leg muscles by bending your knees and hips, but the rest of your body is stationary. However, if you were to bend down to move a piece of furniture, you wouldn’t be stationary you would have to incorporate balance and posture.
In short, free weights allow your body to perfect the proper squatting form necessary to crossover into everyday activities like picking up a child or tying your shoes.
Functional fitness is an industry buzzword, but rightfully so. Building muscle mass is wonderful, but allowing your body to work on the form and posture necessary for everyday activities is equally as important.
Additionally, free weight lifting allows your body to engage more muscles.
While working on your leg squats with free weights you’re also engaging your core. The more your muscles work together and create proper muscle memory for everyday functionality the less likely you are to become injured.
While machines are awesome for isolating muscle groups, the benefits of engaging multiple muscles simultaneously actually end up in quicker strength gains.
Ideally, those looking to improve their overall strength would utilize both machines and free weights, but if you have a favorite we won’t judge because ultimately it comes down to personal preference.
Because we feel strongly that the BEST workout is the one you actually do we want to help you choose the RIGHT tool the first time.