On the machine and with weights, you can do the same exercises. However, will they give the same effects? In this article, we will help you dispel all doubts!
Strength training vs. machines – muscle engagement
Lifting free weights engages more muscles with each movement, because the body has to stabilize the lifted barbell. When practicing on a machine, this work is done by a machine. Weight training allows you to strengthen the deep muscles that are responsible for stabilizing posture. The machines are isolated. They focus on the data of shallow muscles. The player limiting himself to the machines, successively skips the sculpting of part of the party, which after some time may result in injuries. Such a monotonous training also threatens to develop postural defects.
Training with weights improves the athlete’s movement coordination. To a greater extent, it imitates real physical tasks outside the gym. It requires the ability to maintain balance, thanks to which it translates into fitness that is also useful in everyday life. This means that free weights allow for natural muscle shaping. In addition, they increase the level of exercises. It is easier to lift a given weight on the machine than with a barbell.
Machines allow you to lift bigger weights than a competitor is able to squeeze with a barbell. This may give the impression that they were training strength better. However, this is just an illusion. Machines exclude the necessity of body balancing with a significant load. Therefore, old-school barbells and dumbbells are still reliable in strength training. This equipment is obligatory present in professional athletes’ training plans.
Exercises with free weights involve the majority of parties at each repetition, in addition, they burden the body with balancing the body. For these two reasons, they allow you to burn more calories than training on machines.
In the subject of relative safety, machines may have the advantage. In the case of performing exercises on specialized equipment, the risk of leaving the bar does not go away, but remember that machines are advanced equipment, designed for muscle isolation, which is not recommended for beginners. Although machines do not require as much care for the technique as working with free weight, long-term isolated exercises can contribute to disproportion between individual muscle groups.
However, there is one security zone in which a surprising advantage is gained by training with free weights. It is about strengthening the stabilization of our body, which directly affects the safety of movement both at the gym and outside it, in the movements performed on a daily basis. Exercises on machines do not require us to work with deep muscles that protect our internal organs and passive movement organs like joints and bones.
Machines allow you to worry less about the technique to a lesser extent. The equipment usually sets the correct path. Novice, therefore, hard to do the exercise incorrectly. What’s more, the machines have pictures showing how to train them. There is no need to assure the assistance of a colleague on this equipment. Communing with free weights requires more theoretical involvement and familiarity with the topic. However, players who are interested in the long-term development of muscle strength and tissue, should familiarize themselves with good techniques of working with barbells or dumbbells.
Studies published in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research have shown that the same exercise performed on the machine and with free weights brings a different hormonal response. During the tests, barbell reps contributed to release in the body 17 percent more testosterone than the same movement made on the machine. This hormone is very important for building muscle tissue.
The reason for the occurrence of injury when using both free weight and machine exercises is the use of incorrect exercise technique. An additional factor may be too heavy weight or uncontrolled, jerky, too fast movements resulting in lack of control. In exercises, the human factor is variable, so it can not be said that the machine or bar has led to injury.