What is the deal with free weight training? Is it right for me?
This is a very common question. People think that lifting weights is for “body builders” and “athletes” I assure you that lifting free weights can be the best and safest thing for general health, helping to prevent injuries and increasing general strength.
Free weight training is a great way to strengthen all of your major muscle groups symmetrically so that you have more balanced strength which is important for joint integrity. Flexibility is also a major component of symmetry.
Lets first talk about your body’s symmetry(Balanced) and A symmetry(unbalanced) and how that affects your posture and general health. Bad posture or muscle imbalances inevitably become an injury or weak spot in the musculoskeletal system which can cause unwanted strain.
- Symmetry is important for your body because all of your joints and muscles are at their most advantageous position when in proper posture and alignment. Free-weight training allows you the opportunity to train in specific functional ranges of motion utilizing all of your stability muscles and allowing for a slow increase in weight.
- Asymmetry is the opposite of balance. When your body’s muscles are not balanced then your joints wear faster and the impacts of daily task become more harmful on your body particularly your musculoskeletal system. That is why it is Key to include both a stretching and strengthening routine to help your body’s symmetry.
Now that we know what symmetry is lets talk about the components to help the symmetry of your body.
- Even strength in your muscles is important for symmetry. Most muscles work in pairs. Two main functions of balance include agonist and antagonist muscles or Opposing muscles. If you have a weak agonist or antagonist muscles then that will lead to imbalance and eventually injury.
- Even flexibility amongst major muscle groups is important for strength and symmetry. Once again the rule applies that if you have a tight agonist and or antagonist that you are most likely going to be Asymmetrical and therefore are more susceptible to injury and or loss of function.
Simply put if your body has strength and flexibility deficits then it is impossible to have optimal symmetry/posture and joint integrity for maximal strength and injury free joints.
Well I hope that helps you decide if Free weights can be helpful for you.
If you need helping figuring out what you need to get back your good posture, strength and flexibility contact me.
Thanks for your time and energy…Be well
Health and Exercise Prescriptions®