Free weights and weight lifting machines both offer unique benefits, but their often is a debate between those who work out, and are just starting to work out. What should you focus on, and is one really better than the other? As it turns out, yes—one is better for you than the other, but when you involve both in your weekly workout, you can crush your weight loss and fitness goals!
Free Weights Are Functional Fitness Goals
Your body is built to thrive in activity that is required in your everyday life. So, whether that means that you’re lifting your baby and cradling him for hours, climbing ladders at work, walking up and down stairs in your office building, or picking up heavy boxes, you’re not supposed to be winded but moving, lifting and lunging with ease. Unfortunately, for many people these days, this is not the case. Their blood pressure is high, their metabolism is too low, and they’re struggling to move their furniture from one side of the room to the other.
The beauty about doing free weights is that you aren’t restricted in movement. In fact, you can curl your weights any which way you want, which allows you to thrive in strength and endurance in your everyday life.  For example, if you did a few sets of bicep curls three times a week, you would almost immediately find it easier to pick up your toddler, lift up heavy bags of groceries, and even climb stairs. An extra benefit of free weights? Your muscles have to work twice as hard to control the movement of the free weight, which means that if you’re lifting to target your biceps, your other surrounding muscles will also be working to stabilize and balance the weights.
Weight Machines Are Perfect For Sore Muscles or Newbies

Row of weights machines at the gym

Weight machines offer their own benefits—and can be a great addition to any lifting session. Are you suffering from a recent injury, but still want to keep up the momentum of a workout—and one that will allow you to target other non-injured muscles? If so, weight machines are a great way to control your workout just enough to keep your routine up.
Machines are also a great way to prevent dropping heavy weights on your foot (ouch!) or if you’re worried about improper technique. Are you just starting out? Get to know the weights by opting for a more controlled way to exercise first, and then head over to the free weights. Also, if you’re in rehab or want to target a specific muscle group, weight machines make it easy to succeed.
Whether you want to have killer shoulders to show off, a backside to die for, or a smooth and toned core, the weight room is where you need to be. Rotate between free weights and weight machines for a toned body from head to toe, or just stick to what works best for you! Either way, you’ll have a body you’ll be proud to show off!