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Free Weights vs. Machines

December 27, 2016

Free weights and machines improve functional outcomes but free weights may be preferred for strength and power πŸ‹
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Very recent study by Rossi and colleagues (2016) who showed that both leg press, squat and leg press in addition to squat training all improved a variety of performance outcomes, including balance, strength and power πŸ’ͺ
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What I really like about this study is the inclusion of a free weight + machine condition. There is often debate about what is better for progress and which group of trainee that you belong too. But this study takes into account that, more often than not, you don't have a choice of either or. You can use both and get benefits from a combination of the two πŸ‘
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Furthermore, this study does highlight the importance of specificity. If you want to improve your squat, then get underneath a bar and squat. Or if you want to improve your power (in particular vertical jump height), then the extra ROM you may work through on the squat may benefit you more than a restricted ROM leg pressing exercise πŸ€”
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Thirdly, "functional training" is getting quite popular these days. People looking to improve their balance and overall athleticism. This study shows that you don't need to necessarily join a specific functional exercise group exercise class or engage in any funky styles of training (there's nothing wrong with them and they can be quite fun 😜) resistance training in general will help you improve your functional fitness πŸ‘Œ
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Cool study by Rossi and colleagues which can be read in full here: πŸ‘ˆ


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