Weight machines can be a good choice, especially if you're just getting
started with strength training.
In fact, many beginners start out using machines because:
They're supportive. Most machines provide support,
which is great for people who need help when learning new exercises.
It can also be good for people rehabbing injuries or those who want to
lift heavy weights without a spotter.
They're easy to use. Because most machines work on
a fixed path and have instructions and diagrams posted, it's easier to
use good form.
They save time. It usually doesn't take as much time
to change weights on machines as it would for many free weight exercises.
They're less intimidating. Trying to figure out what
to do with a bunch of dumbbells can seem impossible. With machines, you
know exactly what muscles you're working and how to do the exercise correctly.
On the other hand, machines do have disadvantages such as:
They're too supportive. Because you have so much
support, you use fewer muscle groups at the same time. This means you
burn less calories and work the body in a less functional way.
They're limited. Most machines offer one exercise
for one part of the body, which means having to use multiple machines
for a total body workout.
They don't allow you to work on weaknesses. Many machines
require you to use both arms or legs to move the weight, so if one side
is stronger than the other, that side may do more work than the weaker
They don't allow the body to work naturally. Because
many machines work on a fixed path, there's not much room for working
the body throughout different planes of motion.