All Women's Talk

7 Exercises That Can Be Done with or without Weights ...

By Tara

There are certain exercises that you can perform with or without weights. If you are a beginner, you may want to start out with just your bodyweight but as you get stronger you can add weights and better your results. You get out what you give so give it all you've got and add a little more resistance to these great exercises. If we do not challenge ourselves in our workouts, we will fail to achieve our desired results. So up the ante and try these great exercises both with and without weights:

1 Side Plank

The side plank is a great core exercise that can be done both with and without weights ( I like to use 5 lb dumbbells.) It all depending on your fitness level and just how much you want to challenge yourself that day. Follow this great instructional video and see how the side plank works your obliques and rectus abdominal area.

2 Pushup

The dumbbell pushup takes pressure off your wrists but if you want to increase the intensity, perform pushup bicep curls or tricep kickbacks. This is a great way to switch up your current pushup routine and amplify the intensity. Changes can lead to different results, so get changing! I like the change by adding 8lb dumbbells.

3 Squat

To work your lower body perform the squat as your “go to” exercise. Add weights to increase the resistance and make sure you put the weight on your heels as you slowly lower your body to the ground. This video is great instruction to walk you through proper form. My favorite is to use 5lb dumbbells for overhead shoulders as I perform the squat!

4 One Leg Deadlift

Target your hamstrings and work your core with the one leg deadlift. You can perform this exercise with or without weights (I like to use 8lb dumbbells.) Just perform this slowly. This exercise will work your core and help you better your balance. This is one of my favorite exercises because it is so beneficial to leg strength along with helping to prevent injuries.

5 Jackknifes

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To target your upper and lower abdominal area, perform the jackknife. As you get stronger and are able to complete more than 10, add 3-8 lb dumbbells ( I use 5lb dumbbells) and challenge your midsection even more. This video is great because it reminds you to keep your arms and legs straight. You work your core in this ultimate exercise!

6 Lunges

Lunges are great because they isolate the larger muscle groups of each leg individually. Just make sure never to drop your leg lower than 90 degrees and if you want to work your arms as well, add weights and perform bicep curls with walking lunges ( I use 10lb dumbbells). Perform 3 sets of 18 on each leg two days per week for the best results.

7 Arm Circles

To target your upper body, perform arm circles for several minutes. If you want to feel the burn even more and increase the challenge, add wrist weights or 3-5 lb dumbbells (I use 5lb dumbbells). This may look easy but when you are performing this, you definitely feel it!

So now that you have both weight and non-weighted versions of these exercises, which one will you perform first? Just make sure you perform the exercises correctly and enjoy yourself. Fitness can be as fun as you allow it to be!

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