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For the Gym goers- free weights vs machine exercises

Every gym you go to will have free weights and various machines to target each muscle group. For the average gym goer, you may not know what to use, right?

Free weights VS machine exercises, which is better?

You may have noticed from my previous blogs (click here to read) that topics around exercise and strengthening of core muscles are a passion of mine (hence the blog posts). As a Chiropractor, I can help you maintain a healthy spine and also give you tips to achieving your exercise goals.

For those who go the gym, have you noticed that doing free weights to exercise a certain muscle seem to be more challenging than using a machine that targets the same muscle?

That's because doing free weights engage your stabilising muscles, so it is a more taxing exercise. With free weights, your body must first stabilise your core, so you don't tip over - You're always training BOTH your stabilising muscles (core muscles) and also exercising the target muscles at the same time.

In contrast, using a machine usually provides some stability for you whether you're sitting or lying down, so it doesn't engage your core muscles as much. This over the long term can promote growth of your peripheral muscles but not enough growth of your core muscles to stabilise your frame. It is better to have stronger core muscles than peripheral muscles than the other way around.

Sometimes machines can have a benefit for those who already have strong core muscles and just want to isolate and target a set muscle group. Or you are in an age group where free weights might be too challenging and machines are safer to use. Machines definitely have their advantages in certain cases, but for most people who go to the gym, free weights are the way to go. It gives you increased core strength as well as increased strength in your peripheral muscles.

As part of our Chiropractic Care, we will teach you how to maintain healthy spines while incorporating these into your exercise routines.

Come around and see our Maroubra Chiropractors, we'd love to help you.

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