Resistance training has awesome benefits, as we all know. But sometimes these machines have too much structure and limit how your body moves. Here are some reasons why you may want to give those machines a rest and start using some free weights:
They isolate specific muscles. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, there is a reason they put those little diagrams on the machines showing which muscles they focus on. Rather than focusing on one area (which is all that machines do), try rows and pushups. These exercises will work your arm, shoulder, and chest muscles all at the same time. Way to multi-task!
They could be a waste of time. If you have a limited time to work out per day, then try spending 20 minutes using plyometrics, body weight workouts, and yoga. These exercises incorporate many muscles, rather than just working out a few muscles on one machine.
Machines aren’t one-size-fits-all. This makes sense for the shorter ladies who can’t get the seat right no matter how they shift it. Other issues can include handles that are too far apart and seats that are too deep or wide for an appropriate perch. Which brings me to my next point…
They often have you sitting down. We all sit down way too much already. Start choosing exercises that you do while standing up. You’ll engage your core and the important stabilizer muscles in your legs all while making those larger muscles work.
They aren’t “functional.” That means they don’t actually prepare you for the way your body moves on a regular basis. A standing cable chest press is a much better choice for improving your shoving power, while dumbbell overhead presses better prepare your shoulders for that lifting and balancing act.
Well, there you have it. Start ignoring those machines and start moving your body in other ways that truly help your muscles grow.