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Weight training is an excellent way to gain muscle mass and strengthen and tone your entire body. However, if you choose to use free weights, you need to know the proper weight lifting techniques to avoid injuries including tears and strains.
Unlike exercises that use your body weight, with these, you'll have the added weight of the dumbbells in this weight training routine. Keeping this in mind, it's best to build a baseline first, instead of jumping right in when you're out of shape. Below, we'll show you a few exercises with free weights that you can do right at home or wherever you do your workouts.
Like all workouts, weight training has its pros and cons. For starters, these exercises target people with a specific profile, otherwise, lifting weights could result in injury.
That's why we're going to explain some of the health benefits of adding weights to your workout routine, and who can get the best results from these exercises. We'll also talk about some of the most common injuries and the risks of weight training.
Physical activities that involve lifting weights add muscle mass and give muscles more strength and endurance. This improves both physical appearance and muscle fitness.
Besides, studies done by physical fitness professionals show that doing this type of exercise helps to fight type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even aids in weight loss.
Whatever the case may be, working out always works to keep the body functioning properly and adding weights to fitness routines helps to strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support your bone structure. Seniors will be less likely to experience fractures and injuries from falls if they have better muscle tone.
As with all sports, lifting weights (small or large) comes with certain risks, and you need to know some basic techniques to do these moves properly. Injuries are actually more likely when doing exercises that involve lifting your own body weight.
This can happen if you don't know how much weight to lift, and you use weights that are too heavy for you. If this occurs, it could result in muscle spasms, strains, and even broken bones in extreme cases.
Besides, you need to take special care when weight training since depending on how much you lift, falling could have serious consequences -especially if they fall on the torso's extremities. That's why it's so important that you remember to stretch before and after doing any exercises with weights.
Below we'll share 10 exercises for a full body workout that you can do right in the comfort of your home. You'll need free weights or a workout bench to do these exercises without compromising your back's health.
Strengthening and toning biceps and triceps with dumbbells is one of the most accessible activities that you can do at home. This technique is easy and doesn't require much equipment which makes it easy to do without going to an expensive gym.
The weight of the dumbbells will vary depending on the strength of each individual. Ideally, you should start with 2 kilo free weights. First stand up straight, grip the weights firmly with your legs slightly bent, move your arms so that they are perpendicular to the floor.
Your hands should be at shoulder height, and your arms fully extended. Then, lift the dumbbells until they touch above your head. Your arms should always remain extended and then return to the initial position. Do 3 sets of these with 15 repetitions.
Biceps are the muscles that give the arms their shape -which is why having toned biceps will make you look healthy. So, grab two 2 kg dumbbells (for beginners).
Start standing and looking straight ahead with your knees bent slightly. Then, bring the weight closer to the shoulder by bending the elbows at a 90-degree angle. When the dumbbell reaches the height of the shoulder, carefully lower it again to the initial position. You should start with 3 sets of 15 reps.
The main advantage of this weight training exercise is that there isn't a complicated technique to worry about, which is why you can easily do it right at home without supervision. Even so, you'll still be able to improve your grip strength. Besides, this is an exercise that you can do with both light and heavy weights.
To do the farmer's walk, you just have to grab one free weight in each hand with your arms stretched towards the ground. Then, just starting walking as quickly as possible with short quick steps.
This exercise will strengthen the deltoids to give you big strong arms and shoulders.
Set your legs apart slightly and grab a weight in each hand. Then, gently bend your torso forward at a 45º angle. Keep your core tight and your back straight, and lift the weights to your chest and then lower them. We recommend 15 reps per set, and a total of 3 sets to start.
Most people would love to have firm glutes -especially women. That's why activities like hiking, cycling, and running are all highly recommended. But, weight training can also make a difference with this muscle group.
Unlike traditional squats, this kind also adds some extra weight to the torso. This means that the glutes and legs need to exert themselves more since the weight they need to support increases.
So, take a weight in each hand and set your legs hip-width apart, keep your back straight, and look forward. Then, bend your knees until your glutes reach the level of your calves. Return to the initial position, and repeat this movement in 3 sets of 15 reps.
This exercise tones the glutes and biceps at the same time. To do this, when you flex your legs and lower your glutes, you can bend your elbows, raising the dumbbells to the shoulders. Then, bring them back to the original static position.
Lunges are another exercise that forms a part of almost any regular fitness routine. Adding weight with dumbbells makes the activity even more complete to tone your body.
To start, your head and torso need to be straight and your legs together. Then, step one of your legs forward and bend it at a 90-degree angle. This position should be held for a few seconds and then, return to the initial position. Repeat the action on both sides 20 times and try to do 3 sets.
This exercise helps to build lean muscle tissue. The dumbbell clean exercise helps with blood circulation to the glutes and hamstrings. Besides, it helps to optimize muscle growth in the shoulders and arms.
To do this, hold the weights with your legs hip-width apart, and position your wrists so that they are facing forward. First, get into a squat position and then lift the weights to your shoulders, jumping slightly.
Lower the weights to your thighs again before going back to the squatting position and do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Doing step-ups is one sure-fire way to get your glutes working to the max. Besides, if you do one set with just one leg and then the other, this will increase the stability of the small muscle groups around your joints, which can help to protect you from future injuries.
You can do this exercise at home, but you're going to need an elevated and stable platform that's secure and won't move. You could use a stool, for example. Then, place your right foot on the platform and push up from your heel to lift yourself up and put the left foot on the platform.
Then, step back with your left foot, focusing on bending your hip and right knee. Repeat this 10 times and change legs.
The abdominal area is particularly complicated because fat accumulates here as a result of an unhealthy diet. This is why eating a low-fat diet to improve its appearance is recommended, since it will help to make your abs more visibly toned.
Lie down on your back on a mat and grab the dumbbell with the help of your feet (the weight should be between your feet). With your upper torso supported on the floor, lift your legs holding the dumbbell until you form a straight angle between your quadriceps and upper body.
Then, do this movement in reverse, returning to the original position in a slow and controlled way, making sure that the weight doesn't fall. Repeat this in 3 sets of 15.
Stand up tall, hold a weight in each hand and then, slowly bend your torso as far as you can in one direction without bending your legs. Go back to the original position and repeat this movement in the other direction. Again, try to do 3 sets of 15 reps.
Besides all of these exercises, here's a video that explains other weight training exercises: