- With Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Dr. Edward Laskowski is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, including subspecialty certification in sports medicine, and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and a professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
He has been on the staff of Mayo Clinic since 1990 and specializes in sports medicine, fitness, strength training and stability training. He works with a multidisciplinary team of physical medicine, rehabilitation and orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, and sports psychologists.
Dr. Laskowski is an elite-level skier and an avid hiker, cyclist and climber. He approaches sports medicine from the perspective of a physician and an athlete.
In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Laskowski to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and he has received a Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Health and Human Services for his contribution to the Council.
Dr. Laskowski was a member of the medical staff of the Olympic Polyclinic at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and has provided medical coverage for the Chicago Marathon. He serves as a consulting physician to the National Hockey League Players' Association and is a featured lecturer at the American College of Sports Medicine's Team Physician Course.
Dr. Laskowski, a Cary, Ill., native, has contributed to Mayo Clinic's CD-ROM on sports, health and fitness, a website guide to self-care, and hundreds of Mayo Clinic articles and booklets in print and online. He is a contributing editor to the "Mayo Clinic Fitness for EveryBody" book, and he has presented lectures throughout the world on health, fitness and sports medicine topics. His teaching expertise has been recognized by his election to the Teacher of the Year Hall of Fame at Mayo Clinic.
"There are many myths and misconceptions about exercise and fitness in general, and also many traditions that don't stand up to scientific scrutiny," he says. "My goal is to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on sports medicine and fitness topics in a way that you can practically incorporate into your life."
Fitness basics (5)
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- Do toning shoes really work?
- Body fat analyzers: How accurate are they?
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Stretching and flexibility (1)
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Aerobic exercise (12)
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- Ankle weights for fitness walkers: Good idea?
- Walking poles: Good for brisk walking?
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Strength training (9)
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- Flat stomach: Can girdles tighten abdominal muscles?
- Weightlifting: Best before or after an aerobic workout?
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Sports nutrition (2)
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- Brominated vegetable oil: Why is BVO in my drink?
Weight training: Free weights vs. machine weights
For weight training, is it better to use free weights or machine weights?
from Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
No single piece of weight training equipment is best for everyone. Both free weights and machine weights — as well as other types of resistance — can help you increase your strength. The choice really comes down to your personal preference and your access to equipment.
Free weights are versatile and inexpensive. They also simulate real-life lifting situations and promote whole-body stabilization.
Machine weights also can be effective weight training tools — as long as you use machines that adjust to your body dimensions and allow full range of motion of your joints.
The bottom line? Choose a weight training system that you enjoy and that fits into your lifestyle. And whatever type of resistance you choose, remember that proper technique is more important than the specific type of equipment.Next question
Weightlifting belt: Do I need one?
- Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: Guidance for prescribing exercise. American College of Sports Medicine. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2011;43:1334.
- Mayhew JL. Upper-body strength gains from different modes of resistance training in women who are underweight and women who are obese. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 2010;24:2779.
- Langford GA, et al. Specificity of machine, barbell, and water-filled log bench press resistance training on measures of strength. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2007;21:1061.
- Spennewyn KC. Strength outcomes in fixed versus free-form resistance equipment. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2008;22:75.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 3, 2012.