|Butkus questioning authority|
"I like using free weights over machines because they work more of the little stabilizer muscles."
I'm sure most have heard or thought this...dumbbells and barbells aren't fixed like a machine so you have to use more of the stabilizer muscles to control the weight. It makes sense when you think about it...except that it's completely wrong!
If you're doing a bench press using a barbell, dumbbell, or machine...your body uses the same muscles to do the job during the movement. The body senses is that there's a torque on a particular joint(s) and it uses the required muscles to execute the move. When using free weights there's more instability in the movement at first but that's a skill issue and not the fact that you're using more or less stabilizer muscles.