Training Types


There is quite a variety of resistance training types or modalities. The most common are free weights, body weight and machines. Resistance training is great for a wide population of individuals ranging in all skill levels. Resistance training requires a strong stable core and participants to adhere to proper form. If used improperly resistance training can be risky.


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Resistance Training Types

Most people are familiar with body weight training from childhood physical education class or free weights and exercise machines from their parents’ garages as well as local gyms. While those exist there are also other training types. Those modalities are:

Strength-training machines

Good for new trainees as they are self-explanatory and less intimidating. Machines keep you in a fixed plane of motion good for those that lack stability or have physical limitations. Other advantages of strength-training machines are the ability to quickly change weight, good for supersets and circuit training plus not needing a spotter. They are deemed inferior as they don’t require stability or core strength.

Free weights

Things like dumbbells and barbells are free weights. They allow training in all planes of motion. Great for mimicking movement in life and sport. Progressive method of training great for all phases.

Cable machines

Much like free weights, cable machines allow for freedom in movement and range of motion. They are great for those that exercise alone as they do not require a spotter. Cable machines provide full resistance and are great for total body conditioning and development. However they require proper range of motion.

Elastic Resistance Bands

A progressive method of training for all phases of training that is inexpensive, good for strength, endurance and rehabilitation. Elastic resistance bands can move in different planes of motion and are used to mimic sport specific movements. Their color coded system indicates resistance, however it does vary by manufacturer. Over time the bands do wear down and resistance levels change. Pay attention to their integrity.

Medicine balls

Dating back 3000 years, used by the Greeks and Egyptians, medicine balls are one of the oldest resistance training methods. The name came from doctors using them during rehab. They’re great for a wide population and can be used in all planes of motion. Medicine balls help develop explosive power and sport performance. By design they allow for maximum velocity. When training with a medicine ball it’s important to be in the proper environment and you are training with the proper range of motion.


Originally used as a unit of measurement later adopted by the Russian military for strength training. Kettlebells are made from cast iron, ball shaped with a handle and available in a wide range of weights. Proper environment, range of motion and form are necessary. A total body training method said to improve focus, stamina, oxygen use, stability, endurance, strength, power and increase metabolism.

Body weight

A type of training that is available anywhere body weight training uses your body and gravity creating resistance. It can be used in all planes of motion and requires greater motor unit recruitment. Body weight training helps to condition the body and build a strong core.

Stability Balls

Stability balls are a progressive method of training great for a wide variety of people. They’re used in training to increase demand for stability by creating a controlled unstable environment. By nature stability ball training can help to reinforce proper posture and increase strength and stability of the core.

BOSU balls

BOSU balls are similar to stability balls except they are cut in half with a hard platform as a base. A progressive method of training that can be used for creating a controlled unstable environment increasing demand for stability and requiring constant recruitment of stabilizers. BOSU balls also help to reinforce proper posture and increase strength and stability of the core.