When you go to a gym there are multiple equipment options to choose from. How do you know if you are using the best? Gyms consist of free weights, treadmills, bicycles, BOSU balls, foam rollers, kettlebells, cable machines etc. The list goes on.
It can lead you to questioning if you are missing out on a better workout. Cable weight machines and free weights are often used in the gym for resistance training. Here are a few pointers about cable machines versus free weights to help maximize your personal strength goals.
Free weights are considered dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, resistance bands and any other hand weights in which the motion you use them is not restrained.
A great benefit of using free weights is the fact that you have to rely on your core stabilizer muscles. This helps you become more functionally fit which is a solid foundation to becoming stronger. Free weights also allow an individual to move their joints in various ranges of motion. They require balance and tend to recruit many more muscles of the body compared to other machines. Lastly they are considered less expensive.
Free weights can require a spotter, which could be inconvenient. Training alone could lead to an injury if you are not cautious enough. It is also difficult to isolate a single muscle when using free weights. If your goal is to focus on one particular muscle then free weights are not the best option. Finally, you also can't avoid the issue of possibly dropping a weight on your feet.
Cable weight machines
Cable weight machines are simply machines with a weight stack that is connected to a cable. You can either use two cables at the same time or just one. They are a wonderful option for adding diversity to your workout regimen.
Cable weight machines allow you to put your muscles under greater stress when training. People love cable weight machines due to the constant tension of the cable while performing an exercise. It exhausts your muscles faster which in turn can cause faster strength gains.
They are not as functional as free weights. Some exercises are quite difficult to mimic on the cables. In other words it takes more effort to do an exercise correctly. Machines can also be intimidating since you have to know how to hold and use the cable properly. There are many adjustments you can make with the height of the handles as well.