For weight training, is it better to use free weights or machine weights?

Is it best to start with machines and work your way up to free weights or mix in both types of lifting at the beginning of a workout program?
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The best way is which ever one you will do.

The last I heard though, free weights are slightly better, because you have to incorporate balance into the exercise.
I agree with weights force you to use other muscles to stablize the weights. This will give you "bulk" if that it the look you are going for. A weight machine will usually target the specific muscle group, so you'll acheive a more "toned" look. I would suggest that if you are starting to lift weights, go with the machine so you can build-up the muscles then move on to free weights. Just remember beacuse you lifted 120lbs on a machine does not meant you can start with 120 in free weights.

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Ohhhh..... on a second note. NEVER LIFT ALONE. Even on a machine, you can get caught in a cable.
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