A free weight is a type of weight training equipment. This type of weight has no limitations on the range of motion in which it can be used. Free weights help build strength, muscle mass, flexibility as well as balance. There is no limitation as to the skill level required, anyone can benefit from using free weights.
Types of Free Weights
One common type of free weight is a barbell. A barbell allows weight plates to be loaded onto the ends of the bar with clamps to hold them in place. Barbells come in many different lengths and can be used for various exercises. Some exercises include the bench press, squats and arm curls. Barbells are convenient for home gyms and they can easily be stored away.
Another type of free weight is a dumbbell. Dumbbells can be used individually or in pairs. There are adjustable dumbbells in which weight plates can be added to the ends of the dumbbell and secured. There are also fixed-weight dumbbells which are free weights that carry their weight in the dumbbell shape.
Kettlebells are typically made of cast-iron and often resemble a cannonball that has a handle. Kettlebells used in cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. The areas of the body usually strengthened by kettlebells are lower back, legs and shoulders. One difference between the use of kettlebells versus barbells or dumbbells is the number of repetitions of the exercises. With kettlebells, the user performs many more repetitions.
Brands of Free Weights
Bowflex produces a variety of free weights, specifically dumbbells. Bowflex offers two lines with different weights, increasing by 5 lb increments. With these dumbbells, it just takes a turn of a dial to adjust the weight of the dumbbell. This allows the user to easily increase the weight as strength increases and it also replaces up to 34 dumbbells. These dumbbells take up very little space.
Weider offers free weights that can be bought either separately or as a package deal. The individual free weights are hex dumbbells that range in weights from 3 lbs to 50 lbs. They also offer neoprene dumbbells from 2lbs to 10 lbs. For packages of free weights, Weider sells a junior weight set that includes a barbell with cast iron weight plates as well as collars. There is also a 100 lb cast iron weight set that includes a weight bar, two dumbbell bars, collars as well as varying weight plates.
Powerblock is a brand of different kind of free weights. They sell dumbbells, kettlebells as well as barbells. Powerblock is different from other manufacturers as they have color-coded weight rods that are inserted into the dumbbell/barbell etc to increase the weight. Instead of having many different sets of free weights, only one set is required and the weight rods are used to achieve the desired weight.
Prices of Free Weights
The price of free weights is fairly minimal when compared to a weight training complete home gym. Most exercisers find that a good set of free weights can give a comprehensive full body workout similar to that of a complete home gym. Another factor to consider when selecting pieces of fitness equipment for a home gym is maintenance. Free weights have very little maintenance required, whereas machines can break down and does require regular maintenance to ensure this does not happen. Therefore, all in all, free weights are a good investment for a home gym, especially if cost is a concern.