The free weights section of the gym can be a bit daunting thanks to floor-to-ceiling mirrors, stacks of barbells and dumbbells, and a crowd of bodybuilding types. But the benefits of free weight exercises are great, so it's important to boost your dumbbell confidence. Here are five reasons you should take a break from the weight machines:
- Your know more than you think you know. There aren't any black-and-white guidelines for using free weights, but that's no reason to walk away, since free weight exercises are based on the popular moves you already know, like squats, lunges, chest press, shoulder press, bicep, and triceps curls. Plus, any additional movements that you usually perform on weight machines can also be done with free weights — with the added physical benefit (and challenge) of maintaining your stability.
- It's not all about the pounds. Balance is one of the biggest benefits of free weights, and you don't need to be lifting twenty pounds to see results. Grab light dumbbells and perform standard exercises on one foot to strengthen the stabilizing muscles that are often overlooked.
Keep reading for more reasons to use free weights.
- You're in total control. With free weights, there are no cables, pulleys, or strange contraptions that are tough to navigate. You choose the pounds; you choose your movement. Still, as with weight machines, when you become stronger, you're able to increase the weight as you see fit.
- Free weights save time. Unlike weight machines, free weights allow you to combine moves and build muscle more efficiently. You can also do several different exercises with the same pair of weights, so you don't have to waste time running around the gym or waiting for someone else to finish their reps on a machine.
- It can all be done at home. If what truly intimidates you about free weights is having to work out alongside super-sculpted athletes, buy your own set of weights and perform workouts at home. Learn the basics in your living room and when you become comfortable with the fundamental exercises, you'll be confident enough to do them at the gym, too.