The correct answer to this question is that both Free Weights and machines such as Bikes and Rowers are excellent tools for fitness. A good fitness regime should have a combination of Weight Training Tools and Cardio equipment for an effective balance that will achieve optimal results. What makes Free Weights so great is that they are compact and easily accessible. They are just what you need for quick, efficient workouts between classes or if you want to improve your fitness levels slowly without committing to a complete gym set-up. Dumbbell and Weight Plate training can be as high intensity or as moderate as you choose and are suitable for both beginners and more advanced athletes.
Benefits of Free Weight Exercises
Free weights offer a number of benefits. One of the main benefits is that they allow for a greater range of motion than gym machines, which can lead to more muscle groups being activated in a single rep. These are known as compound exercises. Compound exercises are great way to build muscle and increase your overall fitness levels.
Free weights also require the use of stabilising muscles, which can improve balance and coordination. In addition, they are are more versatile and can be used to perform a wider range of exercise allowing for a whole body workout, whereas gym equipment and weight machines often only allow for a specific exercise to be performed.
Asides from the numerous health benefits of Free Weights exercises, dumbbells, Kettlebells and Barbells are simple to use. You don't require complicated machinery, lots of space to manouevre and exercises are easy to perform. This is a huge plus point for those who need productive and fast workouts to keep them motivated.
Cost Effective & Easy to Store
Free Weights are affordable and available to all even if you have limited space or time to regularly get to the gym. They are staple bits of kit for home workout sessions and can be packed away if travelling or training outdoors.
Key Health Benefits of a Free Weights Workout
As well as being user-friendly and super versatile, Free Weights have a number of health benefits when used in a regular fitness routine. Not only do they tone and strengthen your body they can improve heart and lung health while helping to reduce stress and increase overall mood.
Excellent for Weight Loss
Builds Strength & Power
Improves Cardiovascular Function
Reduces Total Cholesterol Levels and Blood Pressure
Improves Balance & Coordination
Relieves Stress & Increases Mood
Full Body Workout - Tones overall Physique (Legs, Arms, Core, Back)
What are considered Free Weights?
Free Weights are any type of weighted equipment that can be used freely and incorporated into all types and ranges of exercise. Some Free Weights can be attached to other equipment such as a Barbell or worn on the body.
What are the Most Common Free Weights for Strength Training?
Dumbbells are one of the most common Free Weights used in Strength and Resistance Training. They are handheld weights that come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Hex dumbbells, in particular, are named for their hexagonal shape, which allows them to be easily stacked and stored. Portable and accessible, dumbbells are your go-to free weight for workouts on the go or home training sessions between gym visits.
Weighted plates are circular weights designed to fit onto a Barbell but can used freely off the bar for a huge range of other workout types. Fitted on the barbell, they allow users to practice correct form and master technique by keeping the spine neutral when lifting heavy weights while adding more variety to their routine.
Kettlebells are weights in the shape of a ball with a handle on top and come in different materials such as Cast Iron, Urethane and Vinyl. They can be used for a variety of exercises, including swings, squats, and presses.
Competition kettlebells are similar to traditional kettlebells, but they are often made of a higher quality material and are more precise in terms of weight. They are used in kettlebell sport competitions and CrossFit which involve complex and precise movements.
Slam balls and power bags are also good free weight alternatives for keeping your workouts fresh and varied.
How do I know if I am using Free Weights properly?
With any exercise equipment, it is advisable to follow any manufacturers instructions on how to use correctly to prevent accidents and reduce the risk of injury. If you are a beginner, it is always useful to watch video tutorials on best practice for performing specific exercises with Free Weights as well as being mindful of your limits. Have sufficient recovery days and build weight increments up slowly in a measured way.
Here is an example of the advised method of performing a proper Kettlebell Swing.
Begin by standing with your heels planted to the ground, bend your knees and engage your core.
Swing the Kettlebell from the floor backwards between your legs and stand in a tall position still gripping the weight. Try to keep your arms long and squeeze your shoulders together engaging your core.
Soften your knees and move your bodyweight to your heels and use your hips to send the weight swinging upwards from your quads. Aim for chest height with arms outstretched. To finish in this position, snap your hips engaging your core and squeezing your glutes.
As the Kettlebell moves downwards, let the weight do the work as your prepare for the next rep. Move your weight back to your heels.
Who Can use Free Weights?
Free Weight exercises are for everyone. They are perfect for beginners and can be used to perform simple movements with light weights to advancing to heavier weight increments as you develop strength. Free Weights are used consistently in all forms and levels of Strength Training from basic home workouts and moderate Aerobic classes to high intensity Barbell Training, CrossFit, HIIT and Metafit Training sessions.
Exercising with Free Weights for a Balanced & Versatile Workout Routine
Free weights are essential pieces of gym kit whether your focus is on weight loss, building muscle or improving your overall fitness. They can be used for a wide range of Cardio Workouts, HIIT and CrossFit to Aerobics and Strength Training sessions both at home or included in your gym or bootcamp workouts. Use in conjunction with resistance bands to increase the intensity and range of your exercises.
Did You Know?
We also supply a popular range of smart Cardio machines like exercise bikes, rowers and treadmills that will create a good balance to your overall fitness routine.