Years ago, machines were all the rage at the gym. Manufacturers spent a lot of time and money to make theirs the latest and greatest, says Mark Nutting, CSCS, fitness director of Saco Sport & Fitness in Saco, Maine. “In fact, we used to train football players on machines, which we’d never do now.” Here’s why: Machines lock you into a predetermined path of motion, which takes away the ability to challenge and strengthen core and stabilizer muscles. In short, they don’t mimic functional movements. “Strength doesn’t transfer as well from machines to daily activities as well as free weights,” says Nutting. This does not, however, mean you must lift heavy weights to get results. “Starting out with your own body weight still qualifies as a free-weight workout,” says Nutting. And keep in mind, when switching from a machine exercise to a free-weight version, use lighter weights than you used on the machine until you perfect your form, since the same weight will feel harder. Try these machine-to-free-weight swaps to take your results to the next level and add variety to your routine. To read more click here!