What Exercise Machines are Good for Building Muscle?

If you are new to the body building arena, you might wonder which exercise machines and techniques are best for building muscles. This is an on-going debate particularly when it comes to free weights or strength training machines.

Body builders who have been working out for years have determined that the best equipment to use is what works for them. Most of them concur that free weights provide the most effective workout and build muscle tissue the fastest.

Bowflex PR 3000 Home Gym Machine

However, they also agree that strength training machines (such as the Bowflex PR 3000)have their place in a body building workout.

Machines make the workout easier to perform because you don’t have to balance the weight while you are lifting. They also don’t require the same amount of stability and concentration that you need to apply to free weights.

About Free Weights

Free weights are essentially 3-dimensional. They exercise more muscle groups including the stabilizer muscles because you need to keep the weights balanced while you lift.

An example of free weights would be the use of dumbbells.   These can be bought individually based on their weight, or you can invest in a pair of adjustable dumbbells.

These are exactly what you are probably thinking they are – adjustable in weight.

Bowflex offers a popular pair which can range from 5 lbs up to 52 lbs.    You can read our review of the adjustable dumbbells from Bowflex or you can skip over to cable system where there are even more reviews.

About Strength Training Machines

Next to free weights, the best muscle building strength training machine is one that uses a cable pulley system. In fact, there are advantages to cable pulley gym equipment that free weights don’t have.

With  the transition from one workout to another is easier and less time consuming. You just make a simple adjustment on the machine to work another muscle group.

About Cable Systems

Free weights require that you disassemble and reassemble the weight to work another muscle group. A cable system greatly reduces the risk of injury because it’s easier to use proper form when lifting. They are also good for easing back into weightlifting after you have suffered an injury.

There are a number of machine exercises that can’t be duplicated with free weights. Free weights use gravity which means you have resistance only when lifting up.

A cable system can work muscles from different angles and ranges of motion that you can’t accomplish with free weights. Machines offer resistance through the use of cables and pulleys so you have resistance in all directions and angles depending on the particular machine and station. This means that you can isolate different muscles that you want to focus on.

As with all body builders, there is the personal preference factor. Over time, both types of equipment can give you the results you want. If you dislike lifting weights but you want to build strength and muscle tissue, you are more likely to stay with strength training machines because they are easier to use.

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