Connect with the weight for fitness
Thinking of starting a fitness program? One of the best ways to start is to evaluate yourself physically and mentally, then decide what kind of workouts you want to have. One of the things you should consider is mixing some weight exercises along with any cardio you might do.
Coach Demetrius Glenn, a recognized fitness expert, provides some information about different weight exercises so you can see which one seems more appealing to your capabilities and preferences.
What are free weights and weight machines?
Free weights and weight machines work to help you increase strength and power. Free weights are barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells you can pick up while weight machines are stationary and can be easier to use for those who have not done weight training in the past. Which one is best for you?
Pros of free weights and weight machines:
- Free weights are safe as long as you’re using proper form and technique and they are something you can easily have in a home gym.
- Weight machines are more commonly found in fitness clubs and exercise studios
- Free weights can help to simulate real life lifting scenarios, so this directly helps with improving total body stabilization.
- Both options offer many physical benefits, such as increased bone density, improved body composition and easier weight maintenance (or faster weight loss).
Something to keep in mind:
- Even free weights require space.
- Using weight machines, you’re not able to complete natural body movements as you can with free weights.
- To get a full workout with both, you typically will need multiple machines or lots of different equipment.
- Weight machines can be expensive if you decide to buy one for your home.
What is a body weight workout?
Body weight workouts are strength training exercises, where you use your own body weight as resistance. It helps you enhance strength, power, endurance, speed and flexibility, as well as improve coordination and balance. You can do simple exercises, such as pushups, pull-ups and planks just to get the body moving. Movements like, pushing, pulling, squatting, bending, twisting and balance are all exercises that use body weight as resistance instead of actual weights.
Pros of body weight workouts:
- No equipment required—you can do it anywhere even in small places.
- You can do it on the go—traveling for work, on holidays or whenever you’re away from home.
- Body weight exercises are ideal if one is older or has physical issues that might make using weights difficult.
- Since these exercises typically mimic actions that we do daily, it’s easier to see results faster than the typical weight machines.
- Using your body weight is easier, free and there’s plenty of body weight workout videos and resources out there, so you won’t get bored.
Cons of body weight workouts:
- Some exercises can be anatomically difficult, especially by those who are just starting, because they require a lot of upper body strength.
- Some exercises might be challenging at first, but they are ideal for those who are not already used to machines and free weights.
- Since the exercises use your own body weight, you might not see the same results in muscle development as you would using weights.
When deciding which type of weight exercise is best for you, keep in mind what you want to accomplish. Either method you choose, the ideal is that you do weight exercises at least twice a week to really see some results. As always, it’s good to contact your physician before starting a new exercise routine.