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Body-weight and free-weight exercises both have pros and cons.
Body-weight and free-weight exercises both have their benefits and their limitations; however, both can be effective in helping you reach your fitness goals. When it comes to determining which method is best for you, the endeavor will likely be reduced to personal preference. There are pros and cons to each; the objective is to find the best fit for your personal needs, limitations and goals.
Finding the Best Fit
Body-weight and free-weight exercises - both have the capacity to help you attain your fitness goals at varying degrees. According to вЂњA Workout Routine,вЂќ variables such as fitness level and specific goals play a role in determining which exercise type is right for you. For example, if your goal is to add a significant amount of muscle, free-weight training may be the best option. With the exception to physical limitations, a combination of the two may be in order.
Body Weight's Natural Flow
According to fitness expert Jason Ferruggia, body-weight exercises -- such as pullups and pushups -- place less stress on your joints than training with free weights. Body-weight exercises are more biomechanically inclined, allowing you to flow in your natural range of motion. They also promote the recruitment of multiple muscle groups, enhancing strength gains. Body-weight exercises are highly functional, as they emulate natural movements. A downside to body-weight exercises is that you are limited to the adjustments you can make once the exercises become too easy.
Flowing with Free Weight
Free-weight exercises provide specific benefits such as the ability to adjust the intensity of the exercise by adding or subtracting weight, allowing you to easily manage routine variations. Free-weight exercises -- such as dumbbell curls and barbell squats -- allow you to overload your muscles quickly by adding additional weight. According to Total Weight Training, free-weight training promotes the use of additional muscle groups in order to stabilize the body for proper execution of the movement. This provides a comprehensive workout that involves multiple muscle groups. Free-weight training can produce added stress on the active joints as well as increase the risk of damage to muscle tissue.
Making the Cut
In most cases, choosing a specific type of exercise can be reduced to personal preference and convenience. If you prefer working out in your home and you don't have weights, body-weight exercises will be ideal for that situation. If you're looking to add significant muscle, the ability to quickly overload your muscles by adding weight makes free-weight training more ideal. In certain situations in which physical limitations such as joint discomfort are involved, body-weight exercises might be your best option.
Before adopting a new workout regimen, consult your physician. Always consider all health limitations and potential risks when considering what type of workout program is best suited for your specific situation.