Free Weights Are Your Friends
Dispelling The Myths And Fallacies Of Free Weights
I want you to take a moment and reflect upon every physical activity you did out side of the gym this past weekend. Maybe you gardened, perhaps played with your kids, or even went canoeing and hiking; now I want you to think about what each of these activities had in common?
The Big Red
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Author, The Big Red.
Not a single one involved a cable, rod, or fixed axis: They were all closed kinetic chain! There are no cables attached to your children (though I'm sure many parents wish there were at times!), no rods guiding you to lift a bag of mulch, and no levers pulling you out of bed every morning. If your daily activities do not involve a fixed range of motion, why should your resistance training?
Are Free Weights Or Machines Better For Results? Are Free Weights Or Machines Better For Results? This is an old question, but one that keeps coming up with new trainers. Should you only use free weights in your quest for muscle growth?
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It's a real shame the myths and fallacies surrounding free weight training have turned people away from so many advantageous exercises. The intention of this bonus material is to dispel some of these myths and discuss the many important benefits free weights have to offer over machines.
I. Free Weights Are Dangerous:
Performing any exercise using incorrect form is dangerous. Driving your car can be dangerous, walking down the streets of Manhattan can be dangerous; free weight exercises are no more dangerous than those done on machines. In fact, exercising on machines is often more damaging because the movements occur through a fixed range of motion.
The use of incorrect form and limb placement misaligns the natural positioning of the body's joints, harmfully and unnecessarily stressing tendons, ligaments, and stabilization muscles. This excess stress can result in both immediate and chronic (long term) injury.
Machines vs Free Weights.
[ Click To Join The Thread. ] Machines vs Free Weights.
This question has been on my mind for a while...are machines just as effective as free weights or not?
II. Machines Better "Isolate" The Muscle:
The body is not an isolated unit! Let me make that clear: The body is not an isolated unit! For movement to take place around any single joint, ancillary and complimentary muscles must contract in order to provide stabilization.
Take for example bicep curls: For the biceps to raise the forearm, the deltoids and muscles of the rotator cuff must contract in order to keep the upper arm connected to the shoulder socket. The muscles of our bodies are designed and adapted to work with one another - not separately.
III. Machines Are More Effective:
Machines require little use of stabilizer and local core muscles in contrast to those recruited when performing a similar movement using free weights. Take for example the isolated bicep curl machine. This exercise trains your biceps but does not force you to stabilize your torso by contracting the local and global core in the same way that performing a set of standing dumbbell curls does.
Similarly, performing an overhead press on a machine will work your deltoids and triceps but does not require full activation of the infraspinatus, supraspinatus, subscapularis, or teres minor. The leading cause of shoulder injuries can be attributed to imbalances in the strength of the deltoid compared with that of the rotator cuff muscles.
Related Shoulder Injury Articles:
o Shoulder Injuries. - By Charles Glass
o My Shoulder Needs Fixing. - By Anita Ramsey
o The Shoulder Joint! - By Jeremy Likness
o Other Shoulder Injury Articles...
IV. Free Weights Are For Bulk, Machines Are For Tone:
Nothing could be further from the truth! "Tone" is a product of muscular maturity and a low body fat, nothing else. The fastest way to develop a muscle is through closed kinetic chain movements (i.e.: free weight exercises), while a good diet combined with cardiovascular training promotes reductions in body fat.
Despite the growing popularity and exotic appeal of machines, free weights should still make up the core of any resistance workout. The research time and again demonstrates that closed kinetic chain movements recruit more muscle fibers resulting in greater gains in functional strength.
Related Muscle Fiber Articles:
o Muscle Physiology - Oh Those Crazy Muscles! - By Eric Broser
o Fiber Type Training. - By Dr. David Ryan
o Muscle Fibers: How Do They Differ? - By Shannon Clark
o Other Muscle Fiber Articles...
This is not to say you should avoid training with machines; machines provide diversity and efficiently supplement any workout. In summary, daily activities and athletics do not involve rods or cables and neither should your training!