Weight training is a common type of strength training for developing the size and strength of the skeletal muscles. It uses gravity to resist the force generated by the skeletal muscles through eccentric and concentric contraction. Weight training uses a variety of specialized equipment (including weighted bars, dumbbells, and weighted stacks) to target specific muscles and types of movements.
There are many advantages as well as disadvantages to using free weights when weight training.
Here are a few advantages:
• Helps develop better balance. Using free weights for weight training requires that you use more than one muscle group for each exercise. For example, when performing a seated bicep curl, you are not only using your shoulders, but you are also using your abs and your legs for stabilization.
• Conditions muscles used in life situations. Other forms of strength training, like exercise machines, help condition muscles that you will probably only use in the gym.
• Allows for a greater range of motion. When exercising on a machine, the machine guides you through the actual movement performed in the exercise. When using free weights, you must have control in your movements. This is great because is promotes more of a conditioning for the muscles.
There are also some disadvantages to using free weights for strength training.
Here are just a few:
• Free weight training is generally for people who are more experienced with strength training. Novices should use machines in order to get the basic strength and conditioning. Then training with these weights should be applied.
• This type of training is not as safe as other forms of strength training. It can be unsafe to perform these exercises without a spotter. If you perform the exercise and use the incorrect motion you may need a spotter to help you so that you can prevent injury.
Free weight exercises are great for those people who want to be fit for life. Most of the top bodybuilders and fitness experts use this type of training in their training programs. This training strategies are great for improving balance and getting that complete range of motion. Free weights are arguably the best form of strength training for the muscles and for life.
Note From Brigadoon Fitness
When people think of free weights they usually envision dumbbells and barbells. But kettlebells and medicine balls are also in the free weight category. Why should you consider using free weights instead of the multi-function or selectorized strength machines? Well, first they are less expensive, more practical, and take up less space in your home gym.
Another reason to start using free weights is that they are more versatile and mimic how we move in real life. You can train just about any muscle while using them which translates into greater strength and a lower risk of muscle imbalances and injury.
With free weights you can do squats or lunges which both work the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Pulls (working your back, shoulders, biceps) and pushes (working your chest, shoulders, triceps) are also a great exercises to do with free weights.
If you are looking for a new exercise routine or to start with something that won’t take up a whole room in your house, free weights may be your answer.