|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
6 Advantages of Free Weights Over Exercise Machines
About a year ago, Sarah saw an infomercial about a "multi-unit" workout machine. The announcer called it a "revolutionary" piece of equipment, claiming that people would see results in "just 2-4 weeks". It exercised all major body parts and the female model shown using the machine said it "was safer and more effective than free weights."
Intimidated by gyms her whole life, Sarah knew having her own home gym would be the key to her finally getting into shape. She had heard that machines were safer than free weights. Besides, the machine came with "easy to follow video instructions". The price was steep, but as Sarah imagined changing her body, she got her credit called and grabbed the phone.
On the day of delivery, Sarah was surprised to see it took up twice the space she was told it would, limiting space in her already cramped den. Excited to get started, she popped in the video, and hopped on the machine. Sarah soon found that she, at 5'3", was too small to fit on the machine for some of the exercises. She continued on anyway, trying to ignore the fact that her lower back and knees were starting to hurt a little.
Sarah used her new revolutionary machine exactly three more times. For the last six months, it has been her unofficial clothes hanger.
What happened? Sarah thought she was buying a machine that would be very easy to operate and be a safe alternative to free-weights. Unfortunately, Sarah and many others are misguided by heavily marketed hype by machine developers. When it comes to effectiveness, particularly for the beginning exerciser, free-weights (i.e., dumbbells) rate much higher than expensive machines in terms of:
1. Cost. Three or four sets of dumbbells would have cost Sarah less than 10 times the amount she spent on her machine. As she gets stronger, she would have to buy more, though even a full set would not set her back nearly as much as the machine did.
2. Space. Dumbbells take up far less space than most of the exercise equipment sold on infomercials. You can easily place them in a closet, out of sight under the bed, or in a corner. There are even dumbbells you can adjust (i.e., PowerBlock) that allow you to adjust the poundage on one set, eliminating the need for single-poundage dumbbells.
3. Variety. Most machines are designed as one-dimensional. Even the most extensive multi-unit machines will allow exercisers to perform only a limited number of movements in a restricted range of motion. Free-weights can be used in ranges of motion based on the exerciser, not a machine. Use free weights along with benches or Swiss Balls and you have multitude of exercise options.
4. Suitability. Sarah couldn't use her "multi-usage" machine for certain exercises because the machine was too big. This is not an uncommon problem. Even though most machines have adjustable seats, arm pads, and lever arms, there are limitations to their range and some may not fit the very small or very large person. However, if you can grab a dumbbell, you can use it.
5. Functionality. Exercising with free-weights increases the likelihood that the effects of the exercise will cross over into real-world situations. Think about it. How often during the day do you lie in a diagonal supine position and push weight up like you would on a machine leg press? Probably never. But how often are you required to do activities that are biomechanically identical to the squat? Sitting, getting in and out of a car, crouching down to pick something up?all the time! Properly using free weights will increase the functionality of an exercise to real-world situations.
6. Safety. It seems counterintuitive to consider free-weights as safer than machines. Most of us have heard (somewhere..) that we could get hurt with dumbbells and that machines were "safer." Maybe just the idea of someone doing a huge bench press lends itself to imagining the likelihood that one might lose control of the same amount of weight if they ever attempted it.
Safety during exercise is more about proper form, technique, concentration and control rather than exercise apparatus. Someone can get hurt on a machine just as easily as with a dumbbell if incorrect form is used. As always, if you don't know how to do something, find someone (i.e., a reputable trainer) to show you how.
Safety as a result of exercise is a long-term issue. It is not necessary for the body to stabilize itself or the weight during movements on most machines, because the weight apparatus is fixed. Key stabilizer muscles are then never given the chance to get stronger. Free-weights allow the exerciser to utilize core muscles and allow multi-plane movement that forces the exerciser to strengthen stabilizer musculature, which support joints. Over the long-term, free weights are superior to machines for building a stronger, more functional body.
You don't need to spend a fortune on a piece of exercise equipment that you'll never end up using and won't suit your needs. A few sets of dumbbells are effective, intelligent alternatives to buying equipment, especially for those setting up their own in-home gym or workout area.
About The Author
Jon Gestl, CSCS, is a personal fitness trainer and instructor in Chicago specializing in in-home and in-office fitness training. He is a United States National Aerobic Champion silver and bronze medalist and world-ranked sportaerobic competitor. He can be contacted through his website at http://www.jongestl.com.
Brigham and Women's says blood tests not necessary for acne medication - Boston Business Journal (blog)
Have Fun With The Nordic Track Elliptical Trainer
The Nordic Track elliptical is a lower end priced machine. People who have purchased the Nordic Track elliptical are more than satisfied with their decision.
Is A Heart Rate Monitor Right For You?
Exercise equipment, like Bowflex, Body by Jake etc., has advanced dramatically over the last 10 years.
The Technology Behind Elliptical Cross Trainers Creates Unique Advantages and Benefits
The Technology Behind Elliptical Cross Trainers Creates Unique Advantages and Benefits The word elliptical means shaped like an oval. In the world of fitness and exercise, elliptical technology is a relatively new, innovative equipment design that draws on a smooth, elliptical movement to provide a low impact form of weight bearing exercise that is fun and easy to learn.
Electric Scooter Wholesale - Passport For Freedom
Electric scooters wholesaleAllowing for unprecedented mobility for the disabled and many seniors depends on being able to buy electric scooters wholesale. Rapidly developing technology and innovation are providing a variety of choices and sophisticated options for many disabled persons.
Manual Vs. Motorized Treadmills
When people go to purchase a treadmill, one of the first questions they ask is "Do I want a manual or motorized treadmill?"What's the difference between the two?The Basic Difference:With a manual (or non-motorized) treadmill, you push the belt with your feet. The action of your feet against the treadmill moves the belt.
Ironman Triad Treadmill
The Ironman Triad treadmill is a made-in-Taiwan exercise demon that retails for close to $3000. Its motor, a continuous duty 3 hp model, provides running enthusiasts with 15 different programs.
Proform Elliptical Trainers Are Not For The Serious
Though many people seem to like their Proform ellipticals, these machines are found not to be very well built. They do just fine if you are not a serious or regular user.
Why Smooth Treadmills are Among The Best
Smooth is one of the better-known brands of fitness equipment. Smooth manufactures treadmills from high quality materials and premium components.
Pacemaster Treadmill Reviews
Runner's World, a magazine for athletes who are serious about their exercise, includes Pacemaster treadmill reviews in its repertoire of sporting information, One of the latest evaluations included as part of its Pacemaster treadmill reviews is that of the Pacemaster ProElite.This treadmill, retailing at over $2000, offers a 3 hp motor, a noteworthy maximum speed of 12 mph, an incline of up to 15 percent and a running area 20 by 58 inches.
Why Use Treadmill Belt Lubricant?
Treadmill belt lubricant is one of the most important things to purchase after your treadmill. Most people do not realize just how important treadmill belt lubricant is, but when you think about it, it really is quite logical, as without good maintenance of your machine, it will demise quite rapidly.
Schwinn Ellipticals Are a Great Ride
Schwinn Ellipticals live up to the name Schwinn. Everyone is familiar with their bikes, so you won't be disappointed with their ellipticals, the company puts the same quality into those.
How Can I Find The Treadmill I Want?
Treadmill ratings are published in lots of places. If you are thinking of buying a treadmill and want to find some treadmill ratings you should have no trouble.
Is A Treadmill The Best Exercise Equipment For You?
The #1 fear people have when buying a treadmill is that they won't use it. (That's the #1 fear when buying any piece of exercise equipment).
Several years ago elliptical exercisers were introduced to the fitness world and have since become very popular and very sophisticated. Over 6 million people now use elliptical exercisers as part of their regular routine.
Treadmill Consumer Guide
When looking for a treadmill consumer guide, you won't have to look much farther than the Internet, or the nearest bookstore's magazine display. Just a quick online search delivered eleven different experts, folks who used their knowledge of athletics and exercise regimens to produce their own unique treadmill consumer guide.
Elliptical V Treadmill
Elliptical v Treadmill - Said The Salesman: I Peddle PedalsWhen trying to decide between elliptical v treadmill fitness equipment, the only conclusion you can draw from your research is that they are largely doing the same job, building up cardiovascular conditioning.But there is a significant difference that makes the decision much easier, the amount of impact on a user's back, hips, knees and feet.
Treadmill vs. Elliptical -- Whos In The Lead?
See ya later stationary bikes and row, row, rowing to no where!Elliptical trainers have over taken stationary bikes in popularity with the gym-going population and have long since left rowing machines back at the dock. This is evidenced by gym operators reducing the number of stationary bikes and rowing machines in their facilities to make way for newer varieties of elliptical trainers.
Can Home Fitness Get Better Results Faster Than A Gym?
Deciding on a home fitness regime is one that will take a bit of planning and dedication. In short?home fitness does get results just as fast but of course depends on effort and knowing what to do.
Treadmill Reviews - Get The Most Value For Your Dollar
As the number one fitness machines available, treadmills are very popular at fitness locations and as home exercise equipment. Most consumers like to read treadmill reviews before they make a purchase in order to get the best value for their money.
What Is A Heart Treadmill?
A heart treadmill, used by physicians to determine their patients' heart health, is not always an accurate cardiac problem indicator, according to some studies.While a heart treadmill can tell if men with no current heart difficulties may be destined for cardiovascular episodes somewhere in their future, it may not be a good test of heart troubles in women.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.