24 Dec AHF Christmas: Free weights
Editor’s note: To help get our loyal Internet followers ready for Christmas, and let them know about the many great deals available through At Home Fitness, I’m revealing the 12 days of AHF Christmas. Here’s Day 10:
“On the tenth day of Christmas, At Home Fitness sent to me Ten free weights a-clanging, Nine ellipticals a-gliding, Eight machines for-rowing, Seven bikes a-spinning, Six treadmills a-churning, Five Golden Dumbbells, Four Cybex arc trainers, Three 3G Cardio vibration machines, Two home gyms, And A sales associate with a great fitness plan for me.”
Despite all the advances in exercise equipment over the years, nothing beats working out with free weights for many exercisers. The freedom, the flexibility, the variety, nothing gives you as many options and opportunities as a good set of free weights. Whether standard dumbells, or with a bar and grip plates, or the more modern options of PowerBlock or KettleBlock weights, At Home Fitness offers something for everyone.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still important to cross train by incorporating machines like home gyms or functional trainers, treadmills or ellipticals, etc. into the hour or so that I’m able to get to the gym on a given day. A balance of both strength training and cario workouts are essential to any exercise program.
But I get the most enjoyment out of performing exercises with free weights, such as using the barbell for a bench press, squat or upright row, or using dumbbells for exercises such as curls, triceps extensions or shrugs.
Using machines can be easier at first for people who haven’t lifted weights very often because many of them follow a fixed plane, but once you get used to free weights most people find them more enjoyable to use. Lots of competitive athletes feel they can make their greatest strength and muscle gains using free weights, especially when performing Olympic style lifts, squats, bench presses and deadlifts.
They bring stabilizer muscles into play more than machines and can greatly help your balance and coordination more.
And, let’s face it, it can feel good to hear plates rattle around on the bar as you lift it, or feel the dumbbells gently clang together.
At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at firstname.lastname@example.org