Not everyone can afford to go to the gym or own fancy workout equipment. But fitness, as always, does not require big expenses. Free weight exercises are there to the rescue.

You only need your determination and any of the following to begin your weight training: dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, and other alternative weights. Read on to know 7 ways to effectively train yourself with free weights.

Concentration Curl

Flex those arm muscles with the classic concentration curl. This exercise specifically targets your biceps and brachialis and increases your arm strength. Find a stable seat and assume a comfortable sitting position – feet on the floor and legs pointing outwards at a 45-degree angle.

Place your right upper arm on your right thigh, holding a dumbbell. Gently start applying pressure and curl the dumbbell up at a 90-degree angle up to the chest using your forearm.

Dumbbell Clean

This free weight exercise works your glutes, calves, biceps, and quads. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Start by assuming a squat position with the dumbbells on the floor. Hold your dumbbells and flip your wrists outwards as you bring the weights to your shoulders.

As you lift, your body should slightly bounce. Once at shoulder level, gradually straighten your legs to stand, then drop the dumbbells to your thigh. Go back to a squat position. Repeat the process.

Farmer’s Walk

Free weight exercises can be dynamic, too. Take the Farmer’s Walk for instance. All you need is a space to move around and a pair of dumbbells. To start, hold the weights in both hands, dropping low (below the hips). Then begin walking.

Vary your pacing, from slow to fast, to feel the increased intensity. Farmers’ Walk builds muscles fast and reduces fats in the body. It is also a relatively safe and straightforward exercise, which you can perform during rush hour.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Instead of one big barbell, some people use dumbbells for bench press. Even weights in both hands allow you to squeeze your pectoral muscles tighter as you draw closer to the chest.

To begin, lie flat on an even surface. Using an overhand grip, slowly lift the weights from the chest upwards until your arms are straight. Then slowly bring your arms down to the chest, creating one cycle.

You can choose to carry heavier weights to achieve a tighter squeeze. But if there no other available weights, simply squeeze your pecs tighter at the highest and lowest part of the lift. This should tone your muscles even more.

One Arm Swing

Do you want to build muscle strength and improve coordination at the same time? Spend a good 10 minutes doing the One Arm Swing. Stand with your legs slightly wider than your shoulders.

Drop to a squat, then swing the dumbbells upwards, passing through your legs. Bring the weights up to your head, while slowly straightening your legs. Do the same for the other arms. Alternatively, you can use kettlebells.


If you have a platform at home, use it as an accessory to your free weight exercise. Grab your weights – dumbbells, kettlebells, or mini barbells.

Start doing the Step Up exercise by placing your right foot onto the platform. Then lift yourself and place the other foot on the platform. You should be standing on the platform by now. Begin your descent by lowering your left foot first, then right. All the while, you must keep weights at your side.

This free weight exercise tones your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. It also develops your core strength. It complements your upper body strength training. As a precautionary measure, the platform should be sturdy and fixed on a non-sliding floor.

Hip Thrust

This exercise is ideal for women who want to develop their glutes. For a safe and effective Hip Thrust exercise, find a solid and heavy bench that you can lie against.

Get your barbell and sit on the floor. Position your back against the bench, then slowly bring the barbell to your hips. Knees bent, raise your hips off the floor until your back is straight or parallel to the floor. To complete the cycle, slowly lower your hips back to the floor. Repeat.

Many other available free weight exercises target specific muscle groups. Have fun combining different sets for your daily free weight routine. In the absence of dumbbells or kettlebells, look for other alternatives in your household like a block or furniture. For fitness, your determination is the limit.

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