Strength: A Less Obvious Advantage to Free Weights Versus Machines

Dick Moss, Editor

In the debate over the benefits of free weights versus strength-training machines, there's a benefit to free-weight training that's often overlooked.

Each free weight exercise requires the student to lift the weight from the floor or rack in preparation for each set of exercises. They must also lower the weight when returning it.

If your students are performing a basic program of three sets of eight different exercises, that's 48 extra movements of the weights—many of which will require a squat and a highly controlled eccentric movement (lowering).

Over time, these additional movements add up—and your students won't even realize they were part of the workout.

1. Fitness•Science Hotline: Healthy back posture.” Muscle and Fitness, November 1988.
2. Frederic Delavier and Michael Gundil, Strength Training Anatomy Workout II,  Human Kinetics, 2012.

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