Anyway, this is going to be short and sweet.....and split in to two parts...
I've always professed to resistance machines over free-weight exercises, and I know that even one of my own publications hasn't supported this (basically the evidence says it's how you train not what you train with). But a piece of research I've been working on for (literally) years has just been published in Physical Therapy in Sport;
A randomized trial to consider the effect of Romanian deadlift exercise on the development of lumbar extension strength
Be Well, and Tune in!