Strength Training – Should I Use the Free Weights Or Machines?

Updated on July 22, 2020

Strength training should be part and parcel of any exercise workout. Besides, everybody has been urged to get moving to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Well, it’s not sufficient. It’s always a smart idea to work out the various muscle groups.  Gym owners have been buying commercial gym equipment to fuel the rising health trend.

The two main ways of doing this are through weight machines or free weights. Both have their benefits and inconveniences. And what you want to do is figure out who best suits your fitness. And you don’t have to choose between each other. You may opt to use machines for your legs and use free weights for your upper body. You have to determine which exercise works best for you.

Free weights vs. Weight Machines

Free weights consist mostly of barbells and dumbbells. The dumbbells are single weight items that require no changes. You pick it up and begin to lift. However, Barbells are made of a bar with interchangeable weight plates on each end. The barbells can be as long as those you may use for bench presses, or as short as dumbbells.

Weight machines are exactly as it says: machines with built-in weights. The machines are fitted with piles of weight plates easily modified by a pin. You can do a workout for different parts of the body with any weight machine.

In general, free weights during a workout appear to work out more parts of the body than a comparable exercise done with a weight machine. The explanation is that you bear the weight of your whole body with them in a freeway.

Just placing the weight in place involves the use of muscles other than the one that you explicitly build up. So much more balance and coordination comes into play than with the weight machines. You can also “cheat” the movement needed to repeat the exercise with these weights.

Which one is safer?

The weight stacks will never hit you if you fail to control the weights. Adding heavyweights only involves taking out the pin and setting it back on the weight stack. It is easy to make changes on the machines; that is why this system is so common in many gyms and fitness centers.

The big drawback to free weights is safety. When you use a barbell to perform a bench press, if you fail to complete the exercise, the risk of being stuck is likely. When you need to, you still want to work with a spotter to help.

 Lifting free weights requires more significant amounts of power to avoid joint and muscle injuries. The inconvenience with free weights is also a drawback. Putting weights on and getting them off can be a workout in itself.

Weight machines do have an advantage in safety and ease of use over free weights. These machines are fitted with controls and guides for guiding the paths of the resistance. Therefore they are less dangerous and prevents pinching, hurting, or trapping the user.


It’s a personal choice when using free weights or weight machines. And honestly, there’s no need to choose one over the other. You can use both tools to achieve your fitness goals.

That said, getting a reliable supplier like Gym like TX Muscles will help you get fit without leaving a dent in your wallet. Browse their website to be welcomed with pages and pages of gym essentials you will need to kick start your journey.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.