The best fitness routines combine several types of activities to target different muscle groups and types of training. You probably already know about the benefits cardio on exercise machines for losing weight, but you may not be as familiar with using free weights. These small weights, also known as dumb bells, allow you to do a wide range of exercises, many of which target multiple muscle groups at once for an effective workout. As you consider adding weight training with free weights to your routine, let us lay the groundwork with some basic tips.
Know Why You’re Training
Free weights can improve both your muscle strength and your overall fitness. You’ll burn calories as you exercise, but the main purpose of weight training is to increase the size and strength of your muscles. This will benefit you with increased endurance. You’ll also add to your bone density, which can limit your potential for developing bone-related health problems as you get older.
Get the Right Equipment
Before heading out to buy free weights, consider where you’ll store them in your home. A corner is fine for setting up a rack with your weights, or you can even line up just a few pairs along the wall. Of course, you’ll need to also have more space than that for moving the weights around without hitting any fragile items, including things above you like a ceiling fan. Before buying, also remember that you need to get the right weights for your fitness level. You’ll want to look for weight sets where the smallest weights still provide enough resistance for simple exercises and the large ones aren’t too heavy for you to lift.
As you’re shopping, the main factor you should consider is whether the weights will feel comfortable in your hand. Some people prefer plain metal, others like the vinyl or rubber feeling, and some prefer the slight cushion of neoprene. In addition, consider the durability and required maintenance for different types of sets. In particular, chrome weights have a higher need for maintenance than weights made of metal or covered in foam.
Make Weight Training a Habit
When you’re investing in exercise equipment, it’s critical to follow through and make time to exercise in your busy lifestyle. Free weights are super convenient to have at home because you can pick them up and do a few sets of exercises whenever you have time, and eventually it will become a habit to turn to them instead of less productive activities.
As you’re just getting started, you’ll need to learn the proper technique to avoid injuries. Start with the most simple weight training exercises for beginners, and if you’re unsure of how to do them, consider going through one personal training session to learn the basics.
It’s perfectly normal to be sore when you first start a weight training routine, but you’ll be pleased to see how quickly you build muscle. These results will not only help you feel more accomplished during your workouts, but they’ll also add to your overall fitness level and quality of life. You’ll be stronger, burn calories faster, and look more toned, so now is the time to get started!