A common question I get asked by people in the gym is “should I use free weights or machines?”
This is a good question and both have qualities, generally I prefer my clients to use free weights as they are the best form of lifting, but there’s no shame in using a fitness machine if you’re not ready for the performing the right range of motion that comes with a free weight lift.
Gym machines are also useful for returning from an injury as they provide additional support, they’re also good for building a strength based foundation for more powerful and rigorous free weight or body weight exercises.
So if you’re new to training then I’d suggest starting with fitness machines to build that foundation, if your training with a Personal Trainer they might start you on free weights as they will be able to spot you to make sure that you’re lifting correctly.
Free weights will also allow you to have a bigger range of movement, where as a fitness machine is limited to the movement of the way the machine moves.
So if you can use free weights then go for them, if not then use the machines or get a few sessions with a PT to show you how to use the free weights and make sure you’re performing the movements correctly.