Machines versus Free Weights

by ProGrips Gympaws®

Closed-chain exercise, Squat

Machines versus Free Weights

Machines can be used as a learning ground, a smart device to teach you the proper execution of a particular exercise.  The only disadvantage is that the rest of the body just sites there and waits for you to finish and move on to the next body part.  You will make gains depending on how well rounded your workout is and how rapidly you move from one machine to the next, as well as the weight load you are using.

By using free weights, you enlist most of the body to assist you in the lifting and lowering of weight with most exercise.  You have to recruit other muscles to help you lift the load for a single muscle group.  Open and closed-chain exercises are what we are talking about here.

Open-chain exercise is just that, an open link of a chain, singular and unattached to the rest of the link system.  This is what weight machines will offer.  You sit on the machine and extend your legs against the weight affecting the quadriceps only, or you site on another machine and press against the bar that will exhaust only the shoulders.  The key here is “only.”  These muscles are working alone.

Closed –chain exercise closes that link and promotes the chain to work as a unit, with each link working collectively to carry the load.  Therefore, the same muscles that were described above using free weights would require doing a squat.  The squat involves holding the weight and stabilizing the body by contracting the middle of the body;  as you perform the squat, the entire lower body (butt, hamstrings, abs, lower back, and the quads) benefits, not just the quads.  You are getting more work done in less time. Whether you are a hardcore bodybuilder or a weekend warrior, try to get the most from your workout!

Give your body and your brain something to do together.  You body will always look for the easiest way to perform (execute) an exercise.  Your brain will help the body obtain the maximum benefits by developing your sense of postural balance and building stronger muscles.  Don’t go for the quick fix. Focus less on the amount of weight your moving and more about how your body is moving that weight.

Weightlifting requires proper form and proper gym attire.  Weightlifting Gloves are key to instill confidence and assure a solid grip.  In addition comfortable clothing that allows for ease of movement is essential.

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