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Sadie Rigby in Two-Piece Workout Gear Reveals 5 Benefits of Free Weights

Here are the benefits of lifting weight over using machines.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

It might be tempting to work the machine circuit at the gym. However, according to one fitness expert, you are better off sticking to the free weights. Sade Rigby is a social media influencer and personal trainer with over 220,000 followers on Instagram. She is committed to encouraging a "strong not skinny" approach to health and a weight training devotee. "Not all machines are made for all body types, and thus can limit the effectiveness of the intended exercise," she explains in the post. "Here are some reasons why I prioritize free weights in my training." Here is everything you need to know about how free weights may be better than machines. 

Free Weights Help Build Strength

First, she explains the strength benefits of lifting weights. "Free weights engage stabilizer muscles and require controlling the weight throughout the movement," says Sadie. "This results in improved stability, coordination, and functional strength throughout the body."

Free Weights Help with Range of Motion

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Next, they help with range of motion. "Machines can't cater to every body type," she explains. "Free weights allow for a greater range of motion compared to machines, which are often limited by their fixed paths. This can result in more natural movements and improved flexibility/mobility over time."

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Core Engagement

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Free weights are also superior when it comes to core engagement, she claims. "Many free weight exercises, such as squats and deadlifts, require core stabilization, leading to improved core strength and stability," says Sadie. "Machines, on the other hand, often provide support for the body, reducing the need for core engagement."

Functional Transfer


Finally, they are better for what she calls functional transfer. "The strength and stability gained from free weight exercises tend to transfer better to real-life activities," she says. "This makes weight training superior for longevity and athletic performance."

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She Also Recommends Progressive Overload


In another post, she elaborates on the concept of progressive overload. "Sometimes we think progressive overload is just doing the same workouts over and over again. Progressive overload is gradually increasing the stress on our muscles, and there's multiple ways to achieve this!" she reveals. She recommends starting by increasing time under tension. "Add a pulse, slow down the exercise, do tempo work)" she says. Next, she says to increase the weight lifted, "or add a band," she suggests. Finally, she suggests increasing volume, "add reps and/or sets," she says. 

💪🔥Body Booster: If you gravitate toward machines, try using free weights for a week and see if you notice any difference. 

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more
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