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Close up of man performing a single-arm bicep curl

Did you know that you can improve your strength with weight machines, free weights, cables and tubing, medicine balls and your own body weight? What you choose may depend on what is available, the specific muscles you want to work on, the scenarios you want to mimic or simply as a result of personal preferences (some people just like free weights and that’s okay!).

If you’re unsure of what to use but, for instance, you are looking to increase your strength to improve your daily life, then free weights may be a better choice as they involve a more natural coordination of several muscle groups which means that they can simulate real life activities better than that of machines. On the other hand, some people prefer the simplicity and safety of weight machines as changing weights is easier and faster (often requires just moving a pin) and there is less focus on proper form and technique (often resulting in less injury).

We suggest trying everything once to see what you enjoy most. Strength gains come through repetitive training; if you don’t enjoy what you do, then you won’t spend the time making it a habit – and then, what’s the point?

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