As you walk into your gym, you may notice a sea of weight machines and free weights available for use. Unless you work regularly with a personal trainer or fitness instructor, it is unlikely you will receive tailored information about these machines to help you achieve your goals. Often training without proper guidance can leave us feeling demotivated, unsure, and at risk of injury, so it’s important that you seek professional assistance before trying them out. Take a look at our must-read guide before you hit the gym.
Machine weights are perfect for those just beginning an exercise routine. When we are starting out, it is extremely unlikely that we will use perfect form when performing exercises. Machine weights are designed to help support us while we learn. Machines prevent users from moving in directions that may hurt or injure them by only providing limited actions. Users are often provided with support structures on the machine to allow them to distribute their weight more evenly, giving them balance and allowing them to isolate their chosen muscle group more effectively.
Machine weights are also often used for rehabilitation due to their safe design.
Free weights should only be used when the user has been assessed on their form or when they are being supervised by a fitness professional. As free weight exercises offer little support, this requires the user to engage other muscles more actively to stabilise themselves – this requires a strong core. If an exercise is performed incorrectly, significant damage to the body can occur making free weights a riskier form of resistance training. However, if you’re ready to incorporate free weights into your program, you should see improvements in your overall health and fitness, particularly if your goal is weight loss.
Before undergoing any fitness program, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a health professional to ensure your exercises are suited to you.
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