You don’t need resistance machines to do strength training. It’s time for you to grab some weights. They are more cost-effective and convenient if you work out at home. Additionally, free weights offer more benefits than machines. Scientists and trainers agree that incorporating weight training into your routine will help you strengthen your muscles, lose calories, and excel at almost everything. Win-win.
All the benefits of lifting weights without machines are listed here. (Next, learn about the benefits of lifting weights generally.
1. They’re functional.
According to strength coach and personal trainer Mike Donavanik C.S.C.S., the best exercises improve your performance outside the gym. These exercises are called “functional” by trainers and require no weight.
He says that free weights enable your body to move through all three planes. This allows you to move in space as you would normally. Machines will often require you to sit down and lift a weighted object while limiting your movement to one plane. In real life, pushing, pulling, or lifting weights while sitting is rare. This is the idea behind functional exercise. Even the simplest free-weight exercise like a dumbbell biceps curl standing on its side can be used in daily activities such as lifting grocery bags or shopping bags. This is a very basic exercise.
2. They’re super-efficient.
Free weights aren’t set in stone like machines. This means that you don’t have to pull or push in one direction. It is important to prevent the weights and yourself from wobbling. Donavanik says that this is a good thing for your entire body. Your body must support your weight and control movement. Therefore, your core, stabilizer muscles, and larger muscles all play a role in controlling your movements. You’re strengthening more than one muscle with each rep. (Related to Why you need to have compound exercises in your gym routine
3. They can improve your balance.
Weight lifting is not just for multiple muscles. Donavanik states that they make the muscles work together which is crucial for coordination and balance. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that people who exercised with free weights had a greater ability to balance than those who did similar exercises on resistance training machines. You won’t slip into a yoga class.
4. They burn serious calories.
Donavanik states that the more muscle you use during an exercise, the more calories your body will burn. He says that while free weight exercises will tax your stabilizers more than resistance machine exercises, compound movements can be performed with free weights. You can think of a squat and overhead press. This move increases your calorie burning by hitting your core, legs, and shoulders. (Related: How to Boost your Metabolism with Just a Pair Of Dumbbells
5. They can make you stronger.
Both count as resistance training. However, your body reacts differently to machines vs. free weights. Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan hooked electrodes to people who exercised. They found that free-weight squats stimulated 43 percent more core and leg muscles than Smith machine squats. According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, free-weight exercises produce a stronger hormonal response than similar resistance machine exercises. This hormonal response determines how your muscles recover and grow after a training session. (Related to The Most Hard Workout You Can Do With Just One Dumbbell
6. They can be stored in your closet.
Do you have the budget to buy a dozen resistance machines? You could even install them in your home. Most likely not. You could try a few dumbbell sets. It’s possible. A pair of adjustable weights can help you save money and space. They can be purchased in sets starting at 50 dollars to several hundred dollars and work as 15 dumbbells. They can adjust from 5 to 50 pounds per pair, so you only need one pair. You don’t need to buy a second pair if you are not sure how to build your own home gym. You can find 11 Amazon Deals on Building a DIY Home Gym For Less Than $250.
7. These reduce the risk of injury.
Stabilizing your muscle imbalances is the best way to avoid injury. It is possible to lift weights for free. Donavanik claims that free weights can constantly challenge your balance and force you to strengthen your small stabilizing muscle, which plays a major role in supporting your body. Free weights can be used to load both sides of your body, so you will have less strength difference between your triceps and hamstrings. He says, “If you do a dumbbell chest press, you will immediately notice if one arm feels weaker than the others.” Your stronger arm will not be able to compensate for the weakness of your chest press machine, which only magnifies strength differences. To get started, you can try these 7 Dumbbell Strengthening Moves That Fix Your Muscle Imbalances.
8. There are no boundaries.
The most versatile tool for working out is the free weights. You only need the weights and some space to perform a variety of exercises that will strengthen every muscle in your body.