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How to use weight plates

Training at home is often a more convenient way of getting fit than going to a gym, but how can weight plates be useful? A weight plate is a piece of gym equipment which can either be used with barbells or without. They usually consist of a round metal plate with a hole in the middle which is used to affix them to bars for use with dumbells or barbells.

What are weight plates?

Plates can be used for weights training, which is generally regarded as being an efficient way of building body strength and mass. Free weight exercises can also be a good cardio workout, depending on the training programme one chooses. Bumper plates are for the more serious amongst us, being solid rubber weight plates used to fit the Olympic bar. They are the same diameter regardless of weight and were designed to be used by weightlifters, as they can be dropped onto lifting mats without causing too much damage. Dumbbells sets can be used to complete a number of different exercises, with such activities as bicep curls, lunges and squats all boosting strength.

Can I exercise with weight plates alone?

Weight plates can also be used on their own as a piece of fitness equipment without bars. There are several exercises which can be done using weight plates on their own. One of these is called the 'Around the World' exercise. This is done by holding an appropriately sized plate in both hands, with your palms facing each other in a finger-over grip. Keep your legs straight and position your feet slightly wider than your hips. Lift the weight plate up and hold it behind your head. The exercise is completed by rotating the weight around the right side of your body as far as it will go by lifting your left arm above your head. Then return it to the initial position. Repeat for the other side of your body. This is one repetition. Plates can also be used to boost leg strength by doing squats. This exercise is completed by standing with your feet slightly wider than your hips and clutching the weight plate to your chest with folded arms. Take a deep breath and squat down, keeping your back straight, as you exhale. Take another deep breath and then as you exhale push up with your feet and straighten your knees. This is one repetition of the exercise. Beginners should always start training with a light weight and then move up in order to avoid injury. If in doubt, then ask a qualified fitness professional for guidance. Such a person would usually be available in the store where there are weights for sale.

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