Weights are an essential part of any weight training routine. They provide resistance, which helps to build muscle and strength. There are many different types of weights available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Dumbbells are the most common type of weight. They are handheld weights that come in pairs. Dumbbells are very versatile and can be used for a wide variety of exercises. They are also relatively inexpensive, making them a good option for budget-minded weight lifters.
Common Exercises using Dumbbells
There are many common exercises that can be performed with dumbbells, depending on your goals and preferences. Dumbbells are versatile and effective tools for building muscle, strength, balance and coordination. Here are some examples of dumbbell exercises for different muscle groups:
Chest: Dumbbell bench press, dumbbell flye, dumbbell pullover
Back: Dumbbell row, dumbbell shrug, renegade row
Shoulders: Dumbbell shoulder press, lateral raise, Arnold press
Arms: Dumbbell curl, dumbbell hammer curl, dumbbell skull crusher
Legs: Dumbbell squat, dumbbell lunge, dumbbell Romanian deadlift
Barbells are long, metal bars with weights attached to either end. They are typically used for compound exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. Barbell exercises are more efficient than dumbbell exercises, as they allow you to lift more weight. However, barbell exercises can also be more dangerous, as they require more balance and coordination. You can perform all the above exercises with a barbell as well.
Kettlebells are cast iron weights with a handle in the middle. They are often used for ballistic exercises, such as swings and cleans. Kettlebells are a great way to develop full-body strength and power. They are also relatively easy to learn how to use, making them a good option for beginners.
Common Exercises using Kettlebells
Kettlebell Swing: The kettlebell swing is a compound exercise that works the hips, hamstrings, glutes, and core. To do a kettlebell swing, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the kettlebell between your legs with both hands. Hinge at your hips and swing the kettlebell back between your legs. Then, explosively swing the kettlebell up to chest height and then lower it back down to the starting position.
Kettlebell Clean and Press: The kettlebell clean and press is a compound exercise that works the shoulders, triceps, lats, and core. To do a kettlebell clean and press, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the kettlebell between your legs with both hands. Hinge at your hips and swing the kettlebell up to chest height. Then, press the kettlebell overhead until your arms are fully extended.
Turkish Get-Up: The Turkish get-up is a complex exercise that works the full body. To do a Turkish get-up, start lying on your back with the kettlebell on the floor next to you. Roll onto your side and bring the kettlebell up to your chest. Then, push yourself up to a kneeling position and stand up.
Goblet Squat: The goblet squat is a compound exercise that works the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. To do a goblet squat, hold a kettlebell in front of your chest with both hands. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the movement.
Kettlebell Snatch: The kettlebell snatch is a ballistic exercise that works the hips, hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, and core. To do a kettlebell snatch, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the kettlebell between your legs with both hands. Hinge at your hips and swing the kettlebell up to chest height. Then, explosively pull the kettlebell up overhead and catch it with your arms fully extended.
These are just a few of the many exercises that can be performed with kettlebells. If you are new to kettlebell training, it is important to start with a weight that is challenging but not too heavy. You should also be sure to use proper form to avoid injury.
Medicine balls are weighted balls that are typically used for throwing and catching exercises. They are a great way to improve coordination, balance, and power. Medicine balls are also a good way to add variety to your workout routine.
Common Exercises with Medicine Ball
Medicine ball slams: Medicine ball slams are a great way to develop power and strength. To do a medicine ball slam, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the medicine ball in front of your chest with both hands. Bend at your hips and knees and then explosively throw the medicine ball down into the ground.
Medicine ball chest passes: Medicine ball chest passes are a great way to improve coordination and timing. To do a medicine ball chest pass, stand facing a partner with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the medicine ball in front of your chest with both hands. Pass the medicine ball to your partner, who will then pass it back to you.
Medicine ball Russian twists: Medicine ball Russian twists are a great way to work your core. To do a medicine ball Russian twist, sit on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold the medicine ball in front of your chest with both hands. Twist your torso from side to side, keeping the medicine ball in front of your chest.
Medicine ball throws: Medicine ball throws are a great way to improve power and accuracy. To do a medicine ball throw, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the medicine ball in front of your chest with both hands. Step forward with one leg and throw the medicine ball as hard as you can at a target.
Medicine ball sit-ups: Medicine ball sit-ups are a great way to work your core and improve your upper body strength. To do a medicine ball sit-up, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold the medicine ball in your hands above your chest. Crunch up and bring the medicine ball up to your chest.
Sandbags are filled with sand, making them a versatile and adaptable weight. They can be used for a wide variety of exercises, including squats, deadlifts, and presses. Sandbags are also a good way to improve grip strength and core stability.
Common Exercises with Sandbags
Sandbag bear crawl: This is a great full-body exercise that works your core, shoulders, and legs. To do a sandbag bear crawl, start on all fours with the sandbag in front of you. Crawl forward, dragging the sandbag behind you.
Sandbag overhead press: This is a great exercise for strengthening your shoulders and upper back. To do a sandbag overhead press, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the sandbag overhead with both hands. Press the sandbag overhead until your arms are fully extended.
Sandbag squat: This is a great exercise for strengthening your legs and core. To do a sandbag squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the sandbag in front of you with both hands. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
Sandbag lunge: This is a great exercise for strengthening your legs and core. To do a sandbag lunge, stand with your feet together and hold the sandbag in front of you with both hands. Step forward with one leg and lower your body down until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Sandbag carry: This is a great exercise for improving your grip strength and core stability. To do a sandbag carry, hold the sandbag in front of you with both hands. Walk for a set distance, keeping the sandbag close to your body.
Weight plates are used to add resistance to barbells and dumbbells. They come in a variety of weights, so you can customize your workout to your individual needs. Weight plates are a good option for people who want to progressively overload their muscles.
Common Exercises with Weight Plates
Squats: Squats are a compound exercise that works the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. To do a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a weight plate on your back. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the movement.
Deadlift: The deadlift is another compound exercise that works the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. To do a deadlift, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a weight plate in each hand. Bend down to grab the weight plates with an overhand grip. Keep your back straight and your core engaged as you lift the weight plates up to a standing position.
Bench press: The bench press is a compound exercise that works the chest, triceps, and anterior deltoids. To do a bench press, lie on a bench with your feet flat on the floor and a weight plate on each hand. Lower the weight plates to your chest and then press them back up to the starting position.
Overhead press: The overhead press is a compound exercise that works the shoulders, triceps, and upper back. To do an overhead press, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a weight plate in each hand. Press the weight plates overhead until your arms are fully extended.
Rows: Rows are a compound exercise that works the lats, rhomboids, and biceps. To do a row, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a weight plate in each hand. Bend down and row the weight plates up to your chest.
Which Type of Weight is Right for You?
The best type of weight for you depends on your fitness goals and preferences. If you are a beginner, you may want to start with dumbbells. Dumbbells are easy to learn how to use and they are relatively safe. As you get stronger, you can switch to barbells or other types of weights.
If you are looking for a versatile weight that can be used for a variety of exercises, then a kettlebell or medicine ball may be a good option for you. Sandbags are also a good choice for people who want a challenging and adaptable weight.
Ultimately, the best way to find the right type of weight for you is to experiment and see what works best for you. There is no right or wrong answer, so find a weight that you enjoy using and that helps you reach your fitness goals.
Here are some additional tips for choosing types of weights:
- Start with a weight that is challenging but not too heavy. You should be able to do 8–12 repetitions of each exercise with good form.
- As you get stronger, you can increase the weight or the number of repetitions.
- Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. If you are feeling pain, stop the exercise and rest.
- Be consistent with your workouts and you will see results.
Buying Home Gym Equipment
When choosing a place to buy weight and gym equipment, it’s important to consider your budget, the type of equipment you’re looking for, and the shipping costs. You should also read reviews of different retailers before making a purchase.
Here are some additional tips for buying weight and gym equipment:
- Start with a budget: Before you start shopping, decide how much you’re willing to spend on weight and gym equipment. This will help you narrow down your choices and avoid overspending.
- Consider your needs: Think about what type of exercises you plan to do and the amount of weight you need. This will help you choose the right equipment for your needs.
- Read reviews: Before you buy anything, read reviews of different retailers and products. This will help you get a sense of what other people think of the products and the stores.
- Buy from a reputable retailer: It’s important to buy from a reputable retailer that offers a warranty on their products. This will protect you in case the equipment breaks or malfunctions.
What are the different names for lifting weights?
Lifting weights goes by many different names, depending on the specific context and style of training. Here are a few examples:
- Strength training: This is a broad term encompassing any exercise that aims to build muscle mass and strength.
- Resistance training: Similar to strength training, but it emphasizes the use of external resistance against which your muscles work.
- Weightlifting: This term can refer to Olympic weightlifting (snatch and clean & jerk) or more generally to using weights for strength training.
- Iron game: This informal term refers to the world of weightlifting and strength training.
- Bodybuilding: This focuses on building muscle size and definition for aesthetic purposes.
- Powerlifting: This focuses on lifting the heaviest weight possible in three specific lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift.
- Olympic weightlifting: This involves specialized techniques for the snatch and clean & jerk lifts.
- CrossFit: This high-intensity training program incorporates weightlifting movements alongside other exercises like gymnastics and metabolic conditioning.
- Functional training: This aims to improve strength and movement patterns that are relevant to everyday activities.
- Calisthenics: This uses bodyweight exercises to mimic weightlifting movements.
- Pumping iron: Informal term for lifting weights.
- Iron-pumping: Variation of “pumping iron.“
- Ironwork: Refers to weightlifting training.
- Free weights: Refers to using dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, or other non-machine weights.
- Machine weights: Refers to using weight machines that provide specific exercise paths.
Remember, the specific term used often depends on the context and what aspect of weightlifting is being emphasized.
What are handheld weights called?
Handheld weights have several names depending on their type and usage:
- Hand weights: This is the most common and general term for any weight held in the hands for exercise.
- Free weights: This term emphasizes the ability to move the weights freely in various directions, unlike machine weights.
Different types of Weights:
- Dumbbells: Two individual weights connected by a short bar held in the hands.
- Kettlebells: A single cast iron weight with a handle attached, often used for swinging and ballistic exercises.
- Ankle weights: Small weights worn around the ankles for added resistance during exercises.
- Wrist weights: Similar to ankle weights, but worn on the wrists.
- Hand grip strengtheners: Small, spring-loaded devices used to specifically target hand and forearm muscles.
- Medicine balls: Weighted balls used for various exercises, including throws, slams, and core work.
- Free hand weights: Sometimes used to emphasize the distinction from machine weights.
- Handheld resistance bands: Resistance bands with handles used for similar exercises as weights.
- Handheld weights set: Refers to a collection of handheld weights, often dumbbells or kettlebells of different weights.
How many types of lifting are there?
There are many different ways to categorize types of lifting, so the exact number depends on the specific criteria used. Here are some common ways to break down the different types of lifting:
- Strength training
- Olympic weightlifting
- Functional training
- Free weight lifting: This type of lifting uses weights that can be moved freely in various directions, such as dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells.
- Machine weight lifting: This type of lifting uses weight machines that provide specific exercise paths.
- Bodyweight lifting: This type of lifting uses your own body weight as resistance for exercises.
- Weightlifting: This term can refer to Olympic weightlifting or more generally to using weights for strength training.
- Powerlifting: This is a specific sport with its own rules and competitions.
- Strongman: This is a type of competition that involves lifting heavy and awkward objects, such as Atlas stones and car tires.
Other types of lifting:
- Occupational lifting: This type of lifting is done as part of a job, such as lifting boxes or patients.
- Olympic weightlifting variations: There are many variations of the snatch and clean & jerk lifts, such as the hang snatch and the push press.
- Specialty lifts: There are many specialty lifts that target specific muscle groups or movement patterns, such as the Turkish get-up and the pistol squat.
What are the six absolutes of weightlifting?
The “6 Absolutes” are a set of six principles developed by Bigger Faster Stronger (BFS), a company specializing in athlete training programs, to promote proper technique and safety in weightlifting. They are particularly focused on foundational movements used in various sports and strength training programs.
Here are the 6 Absolutes:
- Athletic or Jump Stance: This refers to having your feet hip-width apart, toes slightly outward, and knees slightly bent, mimicking the starting position for a jump. This stance provides a stable base for lifting and allows for optimal power transfer.
- Be Tall: This emphasizes maintaining a proud chest and tall posture throughout the lift. Slouching or rounding your back can put strain on your spine and increase the risk of injury.
- Spread the Chest: This means keeping your chest wide and open, engaging your upper back muscles for stability and support. It ensures proper breathing and shoulder alignment.
- Toes Aligned: Your toes should point slightly outward (in line with your knees) to ensure proper foot and ankle alignment. This helps engage the correct muscles and avoid imbalances that could lead to injury.
- Knees Aligned: Your knees should track over your toes throughout the lift. Knees caving inward can put excessive stress on your joints and compromise stability.
- Eyes on Target: Focusing on a fixed point in front of you helps maintain head and neck alignment and prevents unwanted movement that could affect balance and technique.
These principles are meant to serve as a foundation for proper lifting technique across various exercises, especially foundational movements like squats, deadlifts, cleans, and jerks. While they offer a concise framework, remember that specific exercises may have additional technical nuances.
Following the 6 Absolutes can help you:
- Lift safely and effectively.
- Minimize risk of injury.
- Improve your form and performance.
- Maximize your strength and power gains.
Remember, prioritize safety and proper form over lifting heavy weights. The 6 Absolutes can be a valuable starting point for your weightlifting journey, but always prioritize learning and seeking guidance when needed.
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