Training plan – Free exercises or equipment?


Safety is the top principle in force training. The best training plan is worth nothing if injuries or overloads occur. In the machines the movement is guided and it has to be stabilized very little. As a result, there may be little strain on the trained joint or avoidance movements in other body parts. As a beginner and a senior, therefore, a force training is mostly recommended in devices!

Variable weight

Another great advantage is the possibility of variable weight adjustment. Especially with exercises which are still too strenuous with their own body weight, the advantage comes especially to bear. If, for example, you do not yet have a pull-up or a one-legged knee joint, you can slowly approach the necessary force on the lapel or the leg press. Even after injuries slow and careful rebuilding of the muscles is necessary, many free exercises would be too much here and do not offer the possibility of a fine progressive strain increase!

Isolated training

In free practice mostly whole muscle chains are trained. In machines, the muscles can be trained in isolation. In this way, weakened muscles can be specifically trained without being compensated by stronger links within the muscle chain. On the other hand, individual muscles can be constructed without the need to train all muscles in the muscle chain.


Free strength training


In free practice, more muscles are trained simultaneously. In addition to the moving main muscles, other muscles work as stabilizers. This makes the training more challenging but also more effective. A slow increase in the difficulty is therefore necessary to prevent injuries and overloads.


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Range of Motion

With free weights can be exercised more variable. In the case of devices, one is bound to predetermined grip or lever positions, which can be determined by dumbbells themselves. This allows for a more differentiated response from different muscles. In the biceps curl, for example, slightly different arm flexors are trained when the dumbbell is pulled up with the thumb or palm of the hand.

Exercise execution

Proper and safe training with free weights requires better supervision by the trainer. In the case of free exercises, errors occur quickly in the movement, which must be regularly corrected in order to avoid false loads.


Exercises with the body weight or dumbbells are basically more functional. “Functional” means that the muscles are trained as they are used in everyday life and sports. Anyone who puts a lot of weight into the leg press can not automatically jumphigher. In contrast, a high force in the knee joint also improves the jump height.


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The more inexperienced the trainer, the more equipment should be in the training plan. If you are exercising in a fitness center with less close supervision, you should keep more equipment. In order to be able to train with a very high level of weight, equipment is the safest option. Athletes are advised to perform more functional exercises with dumbbells or body weight, if they are correct.

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