BATON ROUGE, LA (BRPROUD) – When comes to resistance training, there are endless options to choose from including machines weights and free weights. But many wonder is one better than the other?
“There is a huge difference between using free weights and machine weights. It’s not necessarily an advantage or a disadvantage it’s just two totally different exercises.”
YMCA Personal Trainer Meredith Atterbery said both offer different benefits.
“So, most of the machines that we use have a seat back to them. That’s one of the primary differences. It’s actually going to stabilize your core for you. So with free weights it’s free motion right. So you’re moving with your body and you can move in the plane that your body naturally wants to. With machine weights you’re locked into one range of motion and one plane. When you have free weights you have the ability to move around a little bit more.”
Atterbery said if you’re recovering from an injury machines are best.
“If you do have any lower back issues or an injury that you’re trying to rehab, the machines are a great tool to use.”
If you’re looking to test your strength, free weights are great.
“One of the things with machine weights is it does lock you into that range of motion so you are using predominately those larger muscles. You don’t have to use those fine muscle groups to control the weights. It kind of takes that away from you. So that is one little benefit to free weights. You do have to work a little bit harder.”
But no matter what you choose, Atterbery said it’s always good to mix it up.
“The is variety and having fun. If you love machine weights and that’s really what drives you and motivates you to be there then keep going. Every once in a while throw in a free weight activity and if you hate it that’s fine. Go back to machines. If you’re inspired to stay active stick with it.”