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Free Weights Exercises Vs. Fixed Machines: The Ultimate Comparison

There are so many ways to train and sculpture your body. It really depends on your likes and dislikes. It can be a Group Exercise class. Whether you prefer a sweating HIT class or a more relaxing yoga class. Maybe you prefer doing your own thing in the gym using equipment or only bodyweight. And even then there are a variety of different tools like fixed machines, free weights, cables, and so on. In this blog, we will compare fixed machine exercises to free weight exercises.

The advantages of fixed weight machines

Fixed machines give stabilization

Fixed machines are easy to use and quick to set up. Weight Machines give your body support while performing a movement making it a safe and comfortable way to exercise. That is the reason why fixed machines are great for beginners and the elderly. Most fixed devices work with isolated muscles and offer unilateral movements. This makes it additionally an excellent tool for rehabilitation clients.

Vs. the advantages of free weights exercises

Barbell free weight

Free Weights exercises improve your body’s functionality

In contrary to fixed weight machines using free weight exercises means no support for your body. Now, this can be both an advantage or a disadvantage. Having no stabilization means it’s harder to perform the movement. That’s why it is better for beginners and the elderly to start their fitness journey with fixed machines. On the other side, free weights allow the more experienced to challenge themselves with a significant number of exercise variations. Furthermore, free weights exercises help to build strong core muscles which is important for improving your posture.

Free Weights are perfect for performing compound exercises

 Dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, medicine balls enable you to perform a variety of compound exercises.

As already explained in my previous article about compound exercises, compound exercises are workouts that operate different larger muscle groups. Free weights allow you to combine complex actions of different body parts. Therefore free weight exercises can be more beneficial in increasing muscle mass, losing weight, and improving your body’s functionality. Most exercises on fixed machines are in a seated or lying position. Meanwhile, when using dumbells for instance you can decide to do every exercise in a standing position. The benefit of that is you are using your core muscles and consequently burn more calories.

Let’s take the example of the Shoulder Press machine vs. free weight Shoulder Press. When you use the fixed machine shoulder press, there’s only one way to do it. However, if we use free weights, there are endless possibilities. Combine a bicep curl with a Shoulder Press, and you are working your triceps, biceps, and shoulders.  Do an Arnold Press and hit all 3 sections of the deltoids. Another combination is Squatting and Shoulder Press or performing Lunges to work the whole body. One more reason to choose free weights exercise is that you can easily do a whole-body workout at home using free weights!

In conclusion, free weights exercises are more challenging and therefore better to improve your body’s overall health; increasing functionality, metabolism, and building strong muscles.