Legit reasons to use a machine at the gym
There are a million reasons why we like free weights and body weight training, including increased stabilization throughout the body and the fact that it more accurately simulates real life and athletic activities. But that doesn’t mean that there can’t be a place for a weight machine! One of the most compelling ways to ensure that you stick with exercise is by making it easy and enjoyable, and if lifting free weights is scary or overwhelming, you’re probably not going to do it at all.
Here’s four pros to the weight stack machines:
- Safety. You’re not going to trip over, get trapped under, or be struck by a weight machine. Less skill is required to control a machine than a free weight, which makes it more approachable to beginners.
- They’re easy to use. If you’re not sure that you have the strength or coordination to perform an exercise with a barbell or a kettlebell, you may be more confident using a machine, and thus more likely to perform strength work.
- Simple advancement of weight. It’s easier to move a pin in a weight stack than put plates on a bar, making choosing a more challenging weight more accessible. If this encourages you to go a little heavier, that’s great!
- Ability to isolate movements. During a weighted squat, the muscles of the core, hips and knees all work simultaneously, which is the whole point. However, marked strength discrepancies can lead to poor form or compensation. A machine can isolate, say, the knee from the hip, making it a good choice for recovery of strength after injury.