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5 Exercises to Build Muscle with Free Weights

5 Exercises to Build Muscle with Free Weights

Sep 21, 2017

There are very many free weight exercises that you can perform to build various muscles in the body. However, these are the essential ones if you want to build muscles fast.

The Bench Press

This exercise builds the pectoral muscles, other minor chest muscles, shoulder muscles, and most of the arm muscles. It is mostly done with barbell weights, although it’s possible to perform it using a pair of dumbbells.
To do the bench press, you lie flat on your back on a bench, grasping a barbell weight on both hands. You then push the weight upwards until your arms are fully extended. You then lower the weight down to your chest level to complete one repetition. To focus on your triceps, you have to use a narrow hand spacing. However, if you want to focus on your pectoral muscles, you have to use a wider hand spacing.
As a precaution, you should have someone spot you during this exercise in case you tire out in the middle of a set. If no one else is around, ensure that you don’t tighten the weights to the bar. This will enable you to unload the barbell by tilting it to one side and letting the weights fall off in case you are overwhelmed.

The Deadlift

The deadlift is a compound exercise, and it builds a number of lower body muscles, including the quadriceps, the gluteal muscles, and the hamstrings. Deadlifts also strengthen your fingers and they improve your core strength. This exercise is also good for building your lower back muscles.
There are a few variations of the deadlift, but the conventional deadlift is the most popular one. There are 3 major steps in a conventional deadlift, namely the setup, the drive, and the lockout. For the setup, you have to stand behind the weights, with the bar almost touching your leg. You then have to hinge both your knees and your hips while maintaining a neutral backbone and keeping your feet flat on the ground. This is important because it ensures that the load is directed to your lower body muscles. You then have to grab the bar evenly, either narrowly or widely. Once you grab the bar, you get to the drive stage. In this stage, you have to lift the weight while ensuring that the lifting motion comes from your leg muscles, and not your hand muscles. Keep lifting until you are standing straight. For the lockout stage, you have to push your hips into the bar and contract your gluteal and abdominal muscles, all while making yourself as tall as possible.
When lowering the weight, you may be tempted to bend your back and set it down, but you shouldn’t. Instead, you should perform all the above steps in reverse order. Learning the proper way of doing a deadlift is necessary because if you don’t do it correctly, you could injure your spine.

The Overhead Press

This exercise is great for building core muscles and deltoid muscles. To start the exercise, you have to lift a barbell from the floor or get it off a rack. You then have to lift it all the way up, until your elbows are locked out. In the middle of the motion when the weight gets over your head, you have to step forward slightly, so that your whole body is directly beneath the barbell. This will help you maintain your balance and avoid injury. When you lower the weight back to the rack position, you have to carefully step out of the way without losing balance.

Biceps Curls

As its name suggests, this exercise targets the bicep muscles. It can be performed with dumbbells or barbells. To do a bicep curl, you have to hold whatever weight you are using on your hands while standing up and maintaining a straight spine. You then have to keep your upper arms and shoulders close to the body and use your forearms to lift the weight, until the forearms are in a vertical position. The biceps will contract when you lift the weight and stretch when you lower it. If you are using a barbell, you have to lift with both hands at the same time. However, if you are using dumbbells, you can carry one on each hand and do your reps in an alternating motion.

Lying Triceps Extensions

This exercise is sometimes referred to as the French press or the skull crusher. It is very thorough when it comes to working out the triceps. To perform this exercise, you have to lie on your back on a short bench, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Your neck should align with the front end of the bench. You then have to hold a barbell weight with an overhand grip over your head. Alternatively, you can hold one dumbbell with both hands, or one dumbbell in each hand as long as you keep them close together. Bend your elbows and bring the weight close to the top of your head, all while maintaining the position of your elbows. Return the weight to the original position to complete one repetition.

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