Free weight vs workout machine (non-athletes)
First, how do we recognize what is free weight or a workout machine workout? Free weight is such as barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, etc. Workout machine are examples such as a leg press and cable.
In general, there some advantages of free weight. Free weight is regarded as multi-joint exercise and stimulate all of our major muscle groups, which is an efficient way to build more muscle. Also, it requires great core stability to balance and coordinate the body because of need to control free weight tools. The best part of free weight training is that it is much more functional. Good training can even improve daily life functionality outside of the weight room. Doing a deadlift is similar to lifting packages from the floor, and farmer walk is identical to carrying heavy items at home or at work or the market. The overall quality of life and daily performance, running, walking, strength, certainly can get better by free weight training. However, it is too risky to do free weight training without the proper form and correct instructions, which can lead to many injuries.
The strength of workout machine is less risk for injuries. As far as I am concerned, it is the best for beginners to use a workout machine because it restricts range of movement. Most of them are single-joint exercises. This is a good way to enhance partial muscle groups. In contrast, people who do workout machines can barely transfer performance to life because of restricted movement and less recruited muscle.