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Using Free Hand Weights

Exercise!

Free hand weight exercises are great! You can use both arms/hands at a time, or opt to just hold one weight and focus on one arm at a time. There are so very many exercises you can so with free weights, we'll run down some of the common ones along with proper technique to get you started.

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Do not continue performing an exercise if anything hurts while you are training! Choose weights that allow you to comfortably perform 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions (reps) each set.

Free Hand Weights Work Out Tips

Do

  • Take normal, controlled breaths.
  • Exhale on the most difficult phase and inhale during the easiest phase.
  • Control your movements.
  • Use a four-count to move the weights through the full range of motion.
  • Warm up the muscle groups before you begin exercising.
  • Stretch when you are finished your workout routine.

Fitness Ball Workout Tips

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Don't

  • Continue if you start to lose your posture. If you do, stop and reposition yourself.
  • Continue performing the exercise if anything hurts while you are training.
  • Over grip the weights.
  • Hold your breath.

REPOSITION YOURSELF IF YOU START TO LOSE YOUR POSTURE.

Free Hand Weights Exercises

1. Using free hand weights to strengthen your backs and shoulders

Positioning

  • Stand tall.
  • Place your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your toes pointed straight ahead.
  • Keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Keep your head back.
  • Square your shoulders.
  • Contract your abdominals (stomach muscles).
  • Do not arch your back, especially when lifting the weights.

Exercise

  • Hold your arms straight down at your sides with the weights at hip level (approximately).
  • Use a four-count to move the weights through the full range of motion.
  • Bending at your elbows, slowly pull the weights to your upper chest area along the side of your body.
  • Slowly lower the weights back to waist level.
  • Check your posture.
  • Repeat steps 1 to 5.

2. Using free hand weights to exercise your thighs and buttocks (lunges)

Positioning

  • Stand with your feet approximately 6 inches apart.
  • Hold your arms straight down at your sides.

Exercise

Free Weights

  • Step forward with your right foot, maintaining your posture, and weights down at your sides.
  • As you step forward onto the right leg bend your knees and lunge - (as if you are going to kneel). Your right knee should remain directly over your right ankle (not farther ahead).
  • Don't let your knees touch the floor.
  • Exhale as you lunge.
  • Slowly and steadily, bring yourself up and bring your feet back to the starting position.
  • Inhale as you come up.
  • Repeat steps 1-7 using the left leg.

3. Using the free hand weights and fitness ball to exercise your chest

Positioning

  • Lie down with your back firmly on an exercise ball.
  • Legs are bent at the knee.
  • Feet are hip width apart.
  • Hold the weights in your hands over your upper chest.
  • Wrists are in a neutral position and locked.
  • Tense your abdominals to stabilize yourself.

Exercise

  • Slowly push hand-weights upward until your elbows are nearly locked.
  • Slowly return the weights to the starting position - your elbow should not be lower than your shoulder.
  • Check your positioning.
  • Repeat steps 1-3.

4. Using free hand weights for your thighs and buttocks

Positioning

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  • Knees are slightly bent.
  • Arms straight down at your sides - holding the weights.

Exercise

  • Bend forward from the waist - as if you are going to sit down - exhaling as you do this.
  • Slowly return to an upright position - inhaling as you come up.
  • Check that your shoulders are square.
  • Repeat steps 1-3.
  • Increasing the intensity
  • Hold the weights at chin level, shoulder width apart.
  • Bend forward from the waist - as if you are going to sit down - exhaling as you do this.
  • Slowly return to an upright position - inhaling as you come up.
  • Check that your shoulders are square.
  • Repeat steps 1-4.

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