A Beginner's Guide to Buying a Weight Set
WARNING: Always check with a doctor prior to beginning a new workout routine.
Whether you're looking to gain stength or endurance, having the right free weights can help you achieve any fitness goal. Instead of paying for a costly gym membership, you can save by adding items to your own home. Buying a weight set not only allows you to create a new home gym, but it also also lets you customize any routine. We've put together some of the latest types and features of free weights to consider.
Body weights attach to different parts of your body to add resistance during exercise. They wrap around your wrists, ankles or chest to increase weight in specific zones of your body.
- Ideal for aerobic workouts - When you want to add resistance to an aerobic workout, body weights can increase the weight in specific parts of your body, working various zones harder than aerobics alone.
- Work with walkers and runners - Using body weights while walking or running can increase resistance, intensifying your workout.
Dumbbells have small handles designed to fit easily in your hands with weights evenly distributed on the dumbbell plates on each side of the handle.
- Help enhance other movements - If you want to add weight to your normal workout, whether you're doing lunges, crunches or squats, handheld weights can increase resistance in your training.
- Great for beginners - Dumbbells are the perfect starter weights for new weight trainers. They typically cost less than barbells and are less intimidating.
- Adjustable sets - Adjustable dumbbells can be modified to achieve varying weights. They have removable plates that can modify the weight of the dumbbell.
- Fixed sets - Fixed dumbbell sets are good if you plan on using a set weight frequently for various lifts.
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Kettlebells are spherical weights with a large handle on top. They are used for intense workout routines, such as aerobic and strength-training, simultaneously.
- Comfortable to use - If you don't like wearing gloves while training, some options have soft-grip handles to help with blisters and discomfort.
- Good for total-body workouts - When you want a workout that combines cardio, strength and stamina, a kettlebell routine fits the bill.
- Changes up your routine - Kettlebell workouts offer a unique fitness sequence that can be a refreshing change from the usual strength-training regimen.
- Materials - Most kettlebells are made of cast iron, though you may find some inexpensive versions made of other materials.
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Medicine balls are weighted and designed to be thrown, bounced or lifted when adding resistance to varying workout activities.
- Core training - If you want to add weight to core exercises like crunches or sit-ups, medicine balls are an ideal tool for extra resistance.
- Throws - Medicine balls are often used for weighted throwing and catching, which focuses on explosive movements.
- Bounce - Some types are designed to bounce for added intensity.
- Improved grips - Newer medicine balls have handles for different types of training and increase grip.
- Materials - There are some models made of softer materials for some safety when throwing them.
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Barbell sets and weight plates often come with weighted plates of varying sizes that can be added alone or together depending on how much you can lift safely.
- Customizable adjustments - If you're working on heavy-lifting exercises, you'll want a weight set designed to accommodate your needs. Barbells can be adjusted to hold much higher weights than dumbbells.
- EZ bars - Curl bars offer a shorter W-shaped bar allowing you to vary your grip, helping target various muscle sections in your arms.
- Fixed bars - A bar with plates molded to the ends are perfect if you like to use a certain weight during circuit training.
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These weight sets start with weighted bars and plates that are added on to customize how heavy the entire unit is.
- Benches - Weight sets can be used on their own or in conjunction with a weight bench for extra support.
- Power racks - Also known as power cages, can make it safer to work out with free weights.
- Perfect for experienced lifters - People who are used to lifting and can safely lift barbells with the correct form will benefit from their own weight sets.
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