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Five free weights exercises for losing weight

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A balanced training routine of cardio and weight lifting – combined with the right nutrition – is the key to successful weight loss. A common mistake that people make when trying to lose weight is attempting to focus all their efforts on dieting and cardio, without giving strength training a second thought. 

Heading into the free weights area can be intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with the exercises, but this shouldn’t be the case. Free weights enable you to work in your own environment at your own pace, limiting the risk of overworking yourself. With a little understanding and a few simple exercises in mind, you can pick up the free weights, build confidence, and start seeing results.

How lifting weights can aid weight loss

Strength training, like lifting weights, ends in excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which means your metabolism runs at a higher rate long after your workout is complete. This means you’ll continue to burn calories at an elevated rate following your session, and will lose weight more easily.

Can lifting weights burn stomach fat?

You can't target where you lose fat but building muscle through lifting weights can help burn to increase the rate at which you burn calories (your metabolic rate), which in turn will help with overall fat loss - some of which may be around the stomach.

How often should you lift?

To burn fat most effectively you should be lifting weights at least twice a week. It’s essential that you let your muscles recover in between sessions, which means giving yourself a couple of recovery days between sessions.

Fat burning free weights exercises for weight loss

The best free weights routines for weight loss are simple to pick up – the challenge comes when you increase the amount of weight you’re lifting. Try these five free weight exercises in however many reps suit your strength and stamina, then take a short recovery and repeat.

  1. Deadlifts
  2. Barbell lunges
  3. Barbell bench press
  4. Barbell squats
  5. Bent over rows

Deadlifts

Deadlifts target multiple muscle groups and stabilise your back and core.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with a barbell on the ground in front of you
  2. Bend down and grip the barbell with your hands slightly less than shoulder-width apart
  3. Raise the bar slowly to hip level using your legs and hips – keep your arms extended and your back straight
  4. Lower the bar back down to the ground, always keeping your back straight

Barbell lunges

Lunges work your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings to the limit. Choose a barbell that feels appropriately heavy to increase the impact of your workout.

  1. Position the barbell across your back – hold on with both hands facing forward
  2. Stand with your feet together, then step forward on one leg and sink into a lunge – both legs should be at 90-degree angles
  3. Push through your front leg and return to standing
  4. Repeat the exercise on the other leg

Barbell bench press

Bench pressing is a classic free weight exercise, favoured by many because it engages the arms, shoulders, and chest simultaneously.

  1. Lie back on a flat bench with your hands gripping a barbell in the rack above you, with a shoulder-width, overhand grip
  2. Lift the bar off the rack so your arms are fully extended – the bar should be directly above your shoulders
  3. Lower the bar slowly until it’s close to your chest
  4. Push the bar back up explosively to the starting position

Barbell squats

The ultimate lower body workout, squats and great for toning up thighs and glutes without weights. If you’re ready to step up your squat game, using a weighted barbell is a great way to increase the intensity.

  1. Position the barbell across your back – hold on with both hands facing forward
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, feet parallel or slightly turned out
  3. Lower yourself into the squat by bending at the knees – keep going until your thighs are parallel with the ground
  4. Push through your heels and return to standing

Bent over rows

Rowing actions activate multiple muscle groups including the back, shoulders, arms, and core. If you’re trying to tone up your back, this is a great place to start.

  1. Hold a barbell or a dumbbell in each hand
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  3. Bend your knees slightly and hinge at your hips, so your upper body is almost parallel to the floor
  4. Lift the weights up towards your ribcage explosively, then slowly lower them back down

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, train for an event, or improve your health, don’t overlook the value of free weight exercise. Find your nearest gym today with PureGym and check our best gyms in LondonManchester gyms or our gyms in Edinburgh.

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