Top 5 Free Weight Benefits
The free weight area is one of the most popular areas of the gym, and for a good reason. With the ability to work on building muscle mass, while raising your heart rate, and working on core stabilization, you really can get a whole body workout with one piece of equipment! So, what exactly is the benefit of working with free weights and why should you try to involve them in your workout?
What is Free Weight Training?
Free weight training involves using weighted equipment that is not attached to another apparatus. This can include using kettlebells, medicine balls, barbells, and dumbbells. Free weights are incredibly versatile and can be used by professional athletes and brand new gymgoers alike, the trick is knowing the correct form to complete the workouts without injury. Free weights are also usually affordable, compact, and a great addition to any home gym or workout equipment collection. If you would like a little guidance on how to work with free weights, join us in a BODYPUMP class or Team Training session. In these formats, you will have an instructor or coach who will be able to guide you through the move and make sure that you are doing them with proper form.
Now that you have a grasp on what free weight training is, let’s dive into the top 5 free weight benefits!
Strong Functional Movement
We move every single day. Even on days where we just nap, head to the fridge, and sleep again, we are moving. When you work with a piece of equipment like free weights, you are strengthening your functional movement. Adding the squat to your workout will not only give you killer glutes and toned hamstrings, but it will also help you to get up from your chair and bed a little easier. Working on your biceps through hammer curls will not only give you gorgeous arms, but they are also going to help you pick up your kids, luggage with ease, and may even help to get you that one extra grocery bag that you always have to return to your car for. This is one of the major health benefits of using free weights and a reason we find ourselves heading to the barbell racks every week!
Having a solid core means so much more than looking good in your bathing suit this summer. A strong core helps to protect your spine, internal organs, and can even help relieve lower back pain. By using free weights, you are engaging your core with almost every move. Since free weights do not restrict movement like a regular strength training machine, your body has to stabilize itself, causing the core muscles to contract which increases their strength over time.
Versatility in Exercise
With free weights, your possibilities are endless in terms of exercises. You can come up with 25 or more squat variations on your own, and other exercises follow a similar suit. Machines usually have one way of using them, but with free weights, you can check out any number of YouTube videos, or resources online and will more than likely never get bored of your workouts.
Range of motion
When working with a machine, your range of motion is limited to what the handle, footrest, or pads will allow. But, with free weights, you can do full, fluid movements, half repetitions, pulses, and more. This allows for more opportunity to work on muscle groups that need a little extra push and assists in that whole ‘versatility in exercise’ thing.
When you think of calorie burning, your mind might jump straight to an image of a 45-minute treadmill run. But, with free weights, there is good news (if you don’t like running, of course). Using free weights helps to increase lean muscle mass within your body, which helps to boost your metabolism and therefore increases total calories burned over time. While the number of calories burned per hour is small, about 150-200 depending on your height and weight, you can increase those numbers by increasing the intensity of your exercise. Since the free weight is versatile, you can also include running or jumping rope in between sets allowing for maximum caloric burn.
The bonus benefit of free weights is that they can be found in almost every single gym. The gym in your apartment building, hotel, and even many home gyms. So, the accessibility is extraordinary. One way to be successful in any exercise routine is to make sure that you have access to the tools you need, and with free weights, you will more than likely be able to find them when you need them. At Chuze Fitness, we have free weights for you to use at each and every location, stop by any of our locations, say hello, and get to building that muscle!