Monday, August 15, 2016

Free Weights vs Resistance Machines

So this is the question I have recently been asking myself: for four years I have done the circuit of aerobic and resistance machines at the gym .. and resolutely walked past the weight room.

Am I missing something important?

'Dr. Mercola' writes,
"The primary difference between free weights and machines, however, is the fact that when using free weights, you can move in three dimensions: forward, backward, horizontally, and vertically. This is important, because this is how your body normally moves in daily life.

"When you use free weights, you therefore end up engaging more muscles, as you have to work to stabilize the weight while lifting it. The drawback is that you’re at an increased risk of injury unless you maintain proper form.

"Machines, on the other hand, are fixed to an axis that will only allow you to move in one or two planes. If used exclusively, this could lead to a lack of functional fitness, which can translate into injuries outside the gym.

"Simply stepping off the sidewalk could result in a knee or ankle injury if stabilizing muscles have been ignored in favor of only working your larger muscle groups. On the upside, a machine will allow you to lift heavier weights, and allow you to target specific muscle groups."
Other commentators noted that resistance machines tend to under-develop the 'core', which includes the abdominal and back muscles. Since I have had the odd twinge (some might call it a weakness) in my back, I am seriously thinking about doing some free weight training.

But it's so complicated! I don't know anything about weights, apparatuses or forms. Still, when in doubt, buy the book.

Obviously free weights can be done at the gym, but another thought occurred to me. As we walked back from our Bishop's Palace picnic today, I subtly murmured to Clare,
"If you like, you can use my weights, when they arrive."
(I have not in fact ordered any weights; the ground must first be prepared).

This is what I heard: the house is not to be made into a gym; the last thing needed is a testosterone-heavy male around (I thought there already was one); and some remark about sweat I didn't quite catch.

No real problems then. I emphasised that weight training is mostly kind and gentle, like yoga.


Michael O'Neal eat your heart out; I will pump iron!!

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