Barbells, Dumbbells and Kettlebells: A Guide to Free Weights
Free weights are primarily used to increase upper body strength. But they can also be used
to exercise the muscles all over the body and can even be used as part of an effective cardio
workout. In short, they are essentials in any good home gym.
But there are many types of free weights to choose from, making choosing the right one
potentially tricky for new users. Which weights should you be choosing? Here we look at the
Dumbbells are what people often picture when they think of free weights. Consisting of two
weights connected by a short bar, they are compact, versatile and practical. They are easy
to use and can quickly be incorporated into a workout. The general idea is to start with light
weights and progress from there.
Like other free weights, they are primarily used for building muscle strength and mass. They
are mainly used for upper body workouts, but they can be incorporated into other types of
You can often buy weight sets with several different weights included. Some dumbbells are
fixed weight while some are adjustable, and they also come with different coatings.
Barbells consist of a long bar with weight plates fitted to each end. They are popular in the
gym and are typically used by more serious athletes and professionals. They are used to
build strength and mass, and while they are primarily for upper body workouts, they can also
be used for leg workouts.
They are not ideal for beginners, and ideally you will build up some strength before moving
onto these – they can get very heavy! You will also need a spotter to help you use the
heavier weights, which is important for your safety.
There are different types of bars to choose from, and the main difference is between
standard bars and Olympic bars. These are specific types of barbells that are stronger and
are able to take heavier loads. They have thicker ends and they are designed to be used