We all know that regular exercise is beneficial for the body. Strengthening of the heart and muscles, reducing weight, improving sleep quality and mood, and reducing susceptibility to common diseases like diabetes are the merits of exercising.
But How should we exercise? Using Free-Weights such as dumbbells are well-known. Today, we’ll look at two methods that are complementary—exercises with equipment and bodyweight exercises.
Exercises with Equipment
Exercises with equipment is any exercise that works on a fixed path with the weight or movement stabilised for you by a machine. Examples are Chest Press machines, Lat Pull-Down machines, and Horizontal Seat Leg Press.
- Isolates the specific muscle-group
Using exercise equipment limits motion range and stabilises movement to target one, or a few, specific muscles. This allow the body to build strength and size in that muscle group—such that the increase in muscle size would look noticeable to the naked eye, and you’ll look stronger. (often than you actually are) Sometimes, this would help in physiotherapy—where bodyweight exercises may not be able to isolate muscle groups.
- Usually easier to perform
In many fitness machines, weights and resistance can be adjusted to suit the individual’s current capability. A beginner that can’t do a pull-up but is looking to buff up? No problem, set the machine to lower resistance. Strong and experienced? Sure, increase the resistance.
Bodyweight exercises, or Calisthenics, as its name suggests, involve the use of your own bodyweight to train your body. Common examples include pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups.
- Uses more muscle groups, equivalent of multiple visits to gym stations
A single bodyweight exercise may be equal to a workout that is well-rounded. What does this mean? Take a push-up for example. Push-ups targets the triceps, but also the chest, and if you do it quickly, your cardiovascular system would be trained too.
- More Functional
It can be said that Exercises with Equipment are less helpful in actual motion compared to its benefits in looks. Bodyweight exercises, on the other hand, are more useful in real-life. This is because bodyweight exercises mimic actual movements—sprinters, and gymnasts train mostly using bodyweight exercises. They look lean, but their muscles are packed with the explosive strength they need.
- Free and Convenient
Gym memberships can cost $80 to $200 a month, yet you may not always use all the specialised fitness equipment there. Meanwhile, bodyweight training is free, and you can do it anywhere, anytime.
As you can see in the comparison, there is no proven way of exercising that is ‘better’. We’ve organised the reasons why you can look at exercises with equipment and bodyweight exercises. What’s definite is that training with either way is a step in the right direction to achieve fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
Of course, there are other simple and effective ways to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle too. One is through free-weights training, which can be done at home at an affordable price. You can find out which type of dumbbell is suited for you here. The other is via eating healthily. which does not mean eating bitter food.
Ultimately, consistent workout sessions matter, and is definitely possible.
Start living healthily today!