Every fitness programme can benefit from the inclusion of free weights. Now widely regarded as one of the most flexible and effective ways to develop strength and muscle mass, free weights are no longer the domain of bodybuilders alone. Men and women alike, whatever their fitness goals, are choosing to include free weights as part of an effective all-round workout. Here’s why:
Whereas resistance machines are useful tools to launch your fitness programme, it won’t be long before their limitations become apparent. With only one or two ways to work each muscle group, machines can quickly become boring and repetitive to a more frequent exerciser. With free weights, however, there are dozens of different options for each body area, which means that not only do your workouts stay more interesting, they also benefit your body more, by enabling you to develop a greater number of muscles.
Range of Motion
Machines, unlike the human body, can only move according to a single fixed pattern. This means that using machines creates an unnaturally limited range of movement in your exercises. Dumbbells enable your body’s peripheral muscles to work at the same time, and give you a more holistic, full-body workout.
Sometimes the only choice of weights on a machine is between 5 and 10 kilos – but although 5 has become too light for you, 10 is still too heavy. Far more gradual weight increases are possible with barbells and dumbbells, meaning that your progress needn’t be held up by weights that have become too easy for you. Not only that you’ll also run less risk of injury from attempting to work at a level you’re not yet ready for.