9 Reasons To Use Free Weights

It's time to get off the machines and grab some weights, Bodyrockers! Free weights are such an integral part when it comes burning calories, building muscle and making changes to your body. If you ever need reason to give up the resistance machines, here's 9 of them:

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They're Functional

You know all of that stuff you do throughout the day: lifting groceries, moving boxes, carrying things, moving furniture - yeah that. Free weights make you better at all of it. Free weights allow your body to move throughout all three planes of motion, so that you move throughout space like you would in normal life whereas machines usually having you sitting down and lifting a weighted load while restricted to a single plane of motion.

They're Efficient

Free weights are fixed on a certain path like machines. This also means you have to keep the weights—and yourself—from moving around by using your lagging muscles, core and stabilizers - and the benefits are excellent. You're getting way more bang for your buck.

They Improve Your Balance

Not only do free weights work multiple muscles at once, they make them work together -  which is crucial for balance and coordination.

They Burn Some Serious Calories

The more muscle you work during a given exercise, the more calories you're going to burn with every rep. Free weights give you the - well, freedom- to combine more exercises and create compound movements. Think a squat to shoulder press.

They Make You Stronger

University of Saskatchewan researchers did a study and hooked electrodes to exercisers. They're findings?  Those who performed free-weight squats activated their leg and core muscle 43 percent more than those who performed Smith machine squats. Not to mention, free-weight exercises trigger a larger hormonal response than similar exercises performed on resistance machines do. That hormonal response determines how your muscles rebuild and grow after your training session.

They Fit At Home

If you can afford a bunch of machines AND fit them in your house - all the power to you. Most can't.  A few sets of dumbbells? Doable.

They Reduce Risk of Injury

The best way to prevent injury is to even up your muscle imbalances. Lifting free weights is a great way to do just that. Because free weights are constantly challenging your balance, they force you to work and strengthen your small stabilizing muscles, which play a big role in supporting your body and keeping your joints in their proper place. Not to mention, you'll immediately know which arm or leg is weaker because each side is loaded individually.

There Are No Limits

Free wights are arguably one of the most versatile workout tools ever. All you need are the weights and a few square feet of empty space and you can perform hundreds of workouts. H/T: Fitness Magazine

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