If you’ve been reading about structuring a workout program, you may have read you should be favoring free weights over machines. And, for the most part, this is very accurate. Free weights tend to offer great advantages in terms of boosting your overall core strength while helping you hit multiple muscle groups at the same time.
But, there are some instances when machines should be a part of your program. Let’s look at when this is, so you can decide if they are a must for you…
1. You’re Just Starting. The first instance when it’s more beneficial to add machines to your program than free weights, is if you are just starting out. At this time, you simply want to gain some confidence with resistance training, and since machines will lead you through the activity pattern, they make it easier to get in those exercises.
Using machines helps you focus on adapting to the nature of strength training and building up your strength level. Then once you have this confidence built, you can move on to using free weight exercises.
2. You’re Overcoming Injury. Another time when you might want to use machines to help you in your workout session, is if you are overcoming injury.
For instance, let’s say you have back pain. Doing squats may prove problematic as it can place a high degree of stress on your spinal column. Instead, adding in some horizontal leg press can be the way to go. This leg press variation will place less total strain on your back, allowing you to keep working your legs without risking further injury. weight packing machine
For those who want to avoid taking time completely off from their sessions when recovering, machines can provide a viable solution.
3. You’re Focusing On The Mind-Muscle Connection. Finally, the last time when weight machines are helpful is when you want to focus on working your mind-muscle connection. Because weight machines take all the balance out of the exercise, you won’t have as much to focus on when doing the movement and as such, can zero in on that mind-muscle connection.
Focusing on your mind-muscle connection is important for seeing maximum results, so taking some time each month to work on it can help you achieve more with your workouts over time.
So don’t write off weight machines entirely. While you should never rely on them exclusively for your strength training workout, there is a time and a place where they can be very beneficial.
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